M’CHIGEENG—Both the Manitoulin Secondary School (MSS) Mustangs boys’ and girls’ teams won their opening game of the league playoff finals. The boys’ team has the chance to win the league B division championship this Friday on Manitoulin Island; meanwhile after winning the opening game of their finals series, the MSS girls’ team was scheduled to play the potential game two final game this past Thursday in M’Chigeeng.
The Mustang boys’ team took the first game of the best two of three series with the Lockerby Vikings, shutting out the Vikings 5-0 in a game played at Carmichael Arena in Sudbury this past Monday evening.
“It was a pretty good game. We were pretty dominant,” stated Steve Doane, coach of the MSS boys’ team on Tuesday. “(MSS goalie) Tyler Hughson got the shutout and played well in the game,” said Mr. Doane.
“Our scoring was spread around,” said Mr. Doane. The Mustangs grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first period, with Nathan Debassige scoring the opening goal with assists going to Zackary Paul and Connor Bellmore. Zackary Paul then scored an unassisted goal.
The Mustangs scored another pair of unanswered goals in the second period. Gregory Doane scored with assists going to Kyle Debassige and Tait Wallace, with the fourth MSS goal coming off the stick of Tait Wallace, with the helper going to Parker Dickinson. Ethan Corbiere scored the lone goal of the third stanza, with an assist going to Kyle Debassige.
At the Monday night game the league B division all-star team was announced. MSS player Connor Bellmore was selected as an all-star forward, said Mr. Doane.
The Mustangs will now have two chances to win the B division championship. Game two of the series will take place at 4 pm in Little Current today (Friday). If the series has to go to a third and deciding game it would take place on Monday in Little Current, with the time of the game tentatively set at 5 pm.
The Mustangs reached the finals after winning the third and decision game in their series against Espanola, downing the latter by a 5-2 score in a game played at the NEMI recreation centre on Friday, February 23.
The Mustangs girls’ team won the first game of their final series (best two out of three) with a 2-1 win over Bishop Carter in a game played Tuesday in Sudbury. “It was fantastic,” stated MSS Coach Mike Meeker. “Neither team played a great game, I think both teams were pretty nervous.”
“It was just one of those games were neither team played their best. But I was proud of our girls in that they found a way to win,” said Mr. Meeker. He praised goaltender Sophie Bondi “who was really solid in goal. The only goal they got on her was a deflection off one of our players and in the top corner of the net.”
“The girls did a great job, on their best player and the team, in forcing their forward wide in our own zone,” continued Mr. Meeker. “They did a great job—I was proud of them. It’s the first time we’ve beat them (Bishop Carter) this year.”
If MSS wins game two, which was scheduled to be played at the M’Chigeeng arena on Thursday, the Mustangs will be the B division champions.
The Mustangs defeated L’Horizon by a 2-1 score in a game played in Sudbury last week to win their semi-final series in two straight games. “The girls played fantastic in one of the best girl’s hockey games I’ve seen all year,” stated Mr. Meeker on Friday, a day after MSS downed L’Horizon in game two. “We outplayed and out chanced them.”
“I was so impressed with our positional playing and passing,” said Mr. Meeker who noted Gabby Corbiere “played a really solid game in goal.”
MSS won the game 2-1, with Harmony Kaiser-Fox scoring the winner with 12:15 remaining in the game. Mikayla Noble notched the first Mustangs goal while assists on the two goals went to Bethany Wesno and Brooke Addison.