Mustangs win PeeWee C title
Depth key to team’s state success, coach says
The Mustang Hockey Association’s PeeWee C team won the state championship with a convincing 7-1 victory over the tournament host South Anchorage Mighty Moose on March 18 at the Subway Sports Centre in Anchorage.
There was no better way to finish the season than beating the Mighty Moose on their home ice, Mustangs head coach Kenny Hood said.
“It was really awesome,” he said. “It certainly was a great way to end it.”
The Mustangs — who held a 2-1 edge after two periods — exploded for five goals in the third to capture the state title, Hood said.
“It was a huge third period,” he said.
The Mighty Moose “battled the whole game,” Hood said.
“It was a really hard-fought game both ways,” he said. “They were a good team. We were fortunate enough to come out on top.”
Winning the state tournament is the ultimate goal for every team at the start of the season, Hood said.
“It’s the one everyone wants to win,” he said. “That’s what everybody shoots for.”
Though the team struggled with slow starts in the regular season, Hood said, the Mustangs peaked at the start of the 10-team, round robin state tournament.
“The team came together at the end of the season at the right time,” he said.
Hood said the late-season surge was the result of hard work put in by the players, parents, assistant coaches Alex Hahn and Ross Johnson and team manager Nicki Lowery — all of whom were crucial to the success achieved this season.
“It was a real big effort from everybody involved,” he said.
Winning the state title took the entire team working as one unit, Hood said.
“There were a lot of players that stepped up,” he said. “Everyone came ready to play.”
The Mustangs’ biggest asset is its depth, Hood said, which enabled the team to endure a grueling six games in three days.
“In the end, that was our strength to be able to have all three lines going,” he said. “We have a lot of skill on our team.”
Hood said his Mustangs were the most skilled and fastest team from top to bottom.
In addition to talent, the Mustangs had faith in their teammates, Hood said.
“The believed in themselves as a team, and they believed in each other,” he said. “That’s the key. When a team believes in each other, they’re going to be able to do very well.”