Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League

Mustangs clinch playoff spot with come-from-behind win

(Photo credit to Heather Pollock/Hockey Canada)

OAKVILLE, ON – Another day, another Melfort rally.

The Mustangs found themselves down 2-0 for the second game in a row at the Centennial Cup but three goals in the second and another pair in the third were enough for a 5-3 victory over the Sioux Lookout Bombers Tuesday.

The Superior International Junior Hockey League champions counted on two goal-mouth scrambles to open the scoring, one from Owen Riffel eight minutes in, and another with 0.7 seconds left on the clock by Connor Burke.

Yet the chances were coming for the Mustangs, and Danton Cox finally broke through at the 8:42 mark of the middle frame when he chipped home a rebound from a Jaxon Kehrig one-timer.

It took only 51 more seconds for Ryan Duguay to tie the game at two when he ripped a patented Duguay wrister from the circle past Jack Osmond in the Sioux Lookout net.

The Bombers took advantage of a turnover at 12:27 of the second period to retake the lead, but Cox once again poked home a rebound in tight about a minute and a half later off a Nolan Roberts point blast, and it was all Mustangs after that.

Leith Olafson sprung Duguay on a beautiful breakaway feed 3:27 into the final frame, and he made no mistake with a perfectly aimed shot high blocker on Osmond.

Tye Evans notched his second in as many games to seal the contest at 11:04.

James Venne made 19 stops for the victory.

The win pushes Melfort back into the top spot in Group B and clinches at minimum a berth in Friday’s quarterfinal. As the only unbeaten team in the group, the Mustangs hold control of their destiny. They can earn a bye into Saturday’s semifinal with a victory over the host Oakville Blades on Wednesday.



Centennial Cup: Day 6 recap

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Melfort Mustangs 5, Sioux Lookout Bombers 3

Danton Cox (Prince Albert, SK) led the way with a pair of goals and an assist for Melfort.
Ryan Duguay (Edmonton, AB) added two goals for the Mustangs.
Owen Riffel (Onanole, MB) had a goal and an assist for Sioux Lookout.
Jack Osmond (Edmonton, AB) made 33 saves and was named Player of the Game for Sioux Lookout.

Calgary Canucks 4, Navan Grads 3 (SO)

Nolan Paquette (Calgary, AB) registered a goal and an assist for Calgary.
Easton Hewson (Edmonton, AB) chipped in with two assists.
Jaeden Nelson (Ottawa, ON) had a 29-save performance for Navan.
Cristobal Tola (Georgetown, ON) was named Player of the Game for Navan with a goal and an assist.

Miramichi Timberwolves 3, Winkler Flyers 2 (SO)

Elliot Robert (Trois-Rivières, QC) and Justin David (Pigeon Hill, NB) added a goal each for Miramichi.
Adam Rouleau (Rouyn-Noranda, QC) stopped 40 of 42 shots, earning Player of the Game honours.
Connor Jensen (Spokane, WA) scored a pair of goals for Winkler.
Zach Nicolas (Winnipeg, MB) and Isaiah Peters (Langley, BC) added an assist each for the Flyers.

Next Games (Wednesday, May 15)

Greater Sudbury Cubs vs. Collège Français de Longueuil – 12 p.m. ET / 9 a.m. PT

Collingwood Blues vs. Navan Grads – 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT

Melfort Mustangs vs. Oakville Blades – 7:30 pm. ET/4:30 p.m. PT


“It’s not that we didn’t like our start, but I thought that there were two unfortunate goals against us to start, to be honest. I thought we had the puck a lot and you have to give Sioux Lookout a ton of credit for coming out and playing a hard game. They were in our face, forechecked and played with a lot of energy. For us, we stuck with it and I’m proud of the guys to build in the second period and get set for the third. Were we at our best? No, we probably haven’t been in this tournament, but we found a way to get it done and sometimes you have win ugly in a short-time period.”

Mustangs head coach Trevor Blevins on his team’s effort

“We stuck with it even though we weren’t running on all cylinders, so to speak. We battled through and we continue to find ways to win even if it’s not the three points we wanted. We’ve been finding ways to win close games and that’s what it’s about—it’s continuing to progress. We knew what the game meant when it comes to second place, but we’re happy to make the next round and then we’ll regroup once we know who we play.”

Calgary head coach Brad Moran on his team persevering to get the shootout win

“We knew they were a big, physical team. We just tried to play our game; we knew they were going to hit us, and we just had to respond. With the teams so close in the standings, we looked at this game like it was a ‘must win’ and we were able to do that.”

Timberwolves forward Ludovic Dufort on the getting past Winkler in a shootout