Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League

Mustangs give all they have in Centennial Final

OAKVILLE, ON - MAY 19: Jack Silverman #21 of the Collingwood Blues battles along the boards with Bo Eisner #55 of the Melfort Mustangs during the first period at the Sixteen Mile Sports Complex on May 19, 2024 in Ontario, Canada (Photo by Tim Bates / OJHL Images)

(article courtesy northeastNOW/Ben Tompkins)

It’s known as one of the hardest trophies to win in Canadian hockey and it proved to be just that for the Melfort Mustangs who fell 1-0 to the Collingwood Blues at the Centennial Cup in Oakville, Ont.The team was undefeated heading into the Sunday final and put up a valiant effort against the No. 1 seed in the Canadian Junior Hockey rankings.

“We left it all out there, we have a special group in there and they worked hard today. They did all they could and super proud of how they played,” said Mustangs head coach, Trevor Blevins.

“It stings right now, but to be able to say you finished top two in the country, it’s something to be pretty proud of.”

The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League was hungry for a national title. That last time they won was 10 years ago when the Yorkton Terriers defeated the Carleton Place Canadians 4-2 in overtime. Last year, the Battlefords North Stars fell in the national final to the Brooks Bandits. The last time Melfort was in the Junior A National Championship was in 2015 when Trevor Blevins’ group lost in the semifinal to the Portage Terriers of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.Although they are not coming home as national champions, the Mustangs had an incredible year. On X, the SJHL posted, “We as a league could not be more proud of our champions and how they conducted themselves and competed at this Centennial Cup.”

The lone goal of the game came four minutes and one second into the second period, off the stick of Jack Silverman on the powerplay.

Noah Pak saved all 23 shots he faced, while James Venne stopped 35 of 36 that came his way.

Silverman, Pak, and Venne were named the three stars of the day.

It was also announced that Melfort’s captain, Leith Olafson was the defenceman of the tournament.

He, along with Clay Sleeva, Ryan Duguay, Aidyn Hutchinson, Tye Evans, Hayden Prosofsky, Logan Cox, Chase Friedt-Mohr and Nolan Henderson, have all now played their final game in a Stangs uniform.

Unfortunately, it was a loss, as game 85 of the Blue and Green’s season fell just a goal short.