The Melfort Mustangs managed to get their win before the pre-season wrapped up Saturday, shutting out the Humboldt Broncos 4-0.
Head coach Trevor Blevins told northeastNOW he doesn’t put a lot of stock into the pre-season, as it’s the coaches' last chance to make decisions from what they see on the ice and decide who fits where in the lineup.
“It’s always nice (to win),” Blevins said. “We always put more emphasis in the last game going into the home opener and that we have good habits, work hard, and do the right things as best we can. I felt the guys did that for the most part and that’s a good step.
Blevins said Saturday’s lineup will be close to the one his Mustangs will ice for the home opener but not the exact same as he mentioned projected number-one defenceman Kayle Tosh and 17-year-old centre Parker Fofonoff were absent for the final preseason game.
Although there will be one brand-new face at the home opener, a player who Blevins expects to be on the top defence pair with Tosh.
The Mustangs acquired 19-year-old defenceman Jake Hobson from the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s (AJHL) Whitecourt Wolverines in exchange for fellow 19-year-old D-man Andrew Liwiski. Blevins called Hobson the full package when it comes to defencemen, as he mentioned his shooting, skating, and toughness.
“It’s a situation where we knew Jake was available and we took advantage,” Blevins said. “It’s unfortunate when you have to trade a player away as talented as Andrew, but it’s hockey and sometimes you have to make a trade to make it work.”
Hobson is familiar with North Saskatchewan, as he played his bantam and midget hockey years in Prince Albert before playing two seasons in the Western Hockey League (WHL) with the Portland Winterhawks and Swift Current Broncos, along with the AJHL’s Wolverines.
Despite the experience, Blevins said Hobson isn’t one of the two players who have made verbal commitments to join the Mustangs should they be cut from their WHL teams. Blevins declined to name those players but said their situations are still up in the air.
The Mustangs open their regular season at home against the Notre Dame Hounds on Saturday Sept. 15 at 7:30 pm.
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