The Melfort Mustangs made a trio of moves Jan. 10, as it was the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s (CJHL) Trade Deadline.
The Mustangs added a pair of players, and traded one away as well.
The first and maybe biggest trade of the day came as Melfort acquired forward George King from the Dauphin Kings in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL), in exchange for future considerations. King hasn’t played since early November, but in 17 games with the Kings he had seven goals and five assists for 12 points. Mustangs Head Coach and General Manager Trevor Blevins said King adds some speed and skill up front.
“We just felt we needed a little more offensive punch in our forward group,” Blevins told northeastNOW. “He’s got great experience. He’s been off for a little bit here, but it shouldn’t take him too long to get into it.”
King has played a total of 93 games in the MJHL, tallying 48 goals, and 34 assists, spanning parts of three seasons where he played with the OCN Blizzard, and Dauphin. The Calgary native also played in 23 Western Hockey League (WHL) games last season with Regina and Prince Albert.
The second addition the Mustangs made came between the pipes as they added goaltender Noah Giesbrecht from the OCN. Giesbrecht played in 35 games with the Blizzard this season, and has put up a 15-15 record to go along with a 3.23 goals against average, and a .919 save percentage. Blevins said with Hunter Arps out long-term with an injury, they needed to add a goalie.
“It was an opportunity for us to get a goaltender with some experience,” Blevins said. “He’s very capable, and he’s done a great job on a team that doesn’t have a very good record. I think with Noah, he’s going to come in and contribute. That’s what’s expected, he’s going to get the net a few times here and help us have some success down the home stretch.”
Giesbrecht has played the most minutes in the MJHL this season among goalies with 1,966 minutes played, and his save percentage ranks third in the league.
Over the past few seasons he had been playing in the Junior B ranks in British Columbia.
With players coming into the Mustangs lineup, the numbers game came into play, and the Mustangs needed to make a trade. That move was trading Chase Anderson to his hometown Lloydminster Bobcats in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL). Anderson was acquired in a three team trade over the summer that involved the Sherwood Park Crusaders (AJHL) and the Notre Dame Hounds. He had nine points in 28 games with the Mustangs this season.
Melfort is back on the ice Jan. 11 as they take on the Flin Flon Bombers at the Northern Lights Palace. That will be followed by a game in Flin Flon the next night between the two clubs. Blevins said his team needs to control the Bombers talent up front.
“The biggest thing with them is that they’re going to have a solid forward group that can put up lots of numbers,” Blevins said. “If you look down their lineup, they’ve got point production from quite a few forwards. So we’ve got to shut down their team speed, and take away their time and space.
“Then offensively for us, we’ve got to make sure we keep the puck 200 feet away [from our net], and do a good job handling some offensive zone time.”
The Bombers took the only other meeting this season between the two squads back in October, a 3-2 decision.
Saturday’s game can be heard on CK750 with Winmar Tisdale SJHL Hockey getting underway at 7:15 p.m. from the Whitney Forum in Flin Flon, Manitoba.
On Twitter: @matbarrett6
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