The Melfort Mustangs have finally got their first win of the 2019 calendar year in the SJHL.
On Wednesday, Jan. 9, the Mustangs welcomed the Melville Millionaires to the Northern Lights Palace, and ended up coming away with a 2-1 win, after losing their first two games of the year on the weekend.
The Mustangs dominated the first period in the game, both on the scoreboard, and shot clock. The home team outshot the Millionaires 18-9 in the first frame, and had two goals to show for it. Jake Hobson opened the scoring for the Mustangs as he got the puck at the blue line and was able to walk into a big slap shot that found it's way past Melville netminder Colby Entz. Just four minutes after that, Justin Ball got by the defencemen and beat Entz with a backhand. It was Ball's 41st goal of the season, which leads the SJHL. His linemate, Tanner Zentner had two assists on the night, but the big centreman said that the points are secondary.
"Whenever you get on the scoresheet it's nice," Zentner told northeastNOW. "I was just more worried about tonight, bearing down, getting the job done. We really needed that win tonight."
The visiting Millionaires came back hard in the second period and made things interesting as they scored just 18 seconds into the middle frame. Luke Spadafora walked into the Mustangs zone and ripped a shot past Shawn Parkinson to get things to 2-1 Mustangs. Melfort was able to hold the Millionaires off in the period, while Parkinson made eight saves in the period for Melfort, some of them were high end scoring chances by Melville.
In the third period, the Millionaires came out harder, and kept the pedal to the metal. They pinned the Mustangs in their own zone for long stretches in the frame, but the defence stayed solid, and so did Shawn Parkinson who stopped 11 shots in the period, and 28 throughout the game. A too many men penalty to the Mustangs with less than two minutes to play gave Melville hope, but Melfort ultimately weathered the storm and closed out the 2-1 win. Zentner said the team didn't play their best, but the win is what matters.
"Two points is two points." Zentner said. "I thought the boys just beared down at the end. We were gripping our sticks a little bit, but we found a way to get it done tonight."
The Mustangs move to 25-11-2-0 on the season, leaving them just four points back of the Nipawin Hawks, but with two games in hand. Melfort's next action will be on Friday, Jan. 11 as they host the Flin Flon Bombers in a home and home set. The game on Jan. 12 can be heard on CK750 with Winmar Tisdale SJHL Hockey getting underway at 7:15 p.m.
On Twitter: @matbarrett6
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