The Invicta Mustangs Ice Hockey Team started their National Ice Hockey League Division 2 game away to Peterborough Islanders on Saturday.
The Mustangs are a development team, featuring some of last seasons returning players and 8 of Invicta Junior under18’s, including senior hockey debuts from Vojtech Jirasek, Artyom Grzibovskis and James Laming. The average age of the Mustangs is just 19 years of age.
With Peterborough Islanders pushing for promotion this season and featuring many players who have played in higher leagues, this was going to be a tough game.
Both teams started strong and the action was frantic, with the young Mustangs skating hard and fast against the bigger and stronger Islanders but it was the home team who scored a powerplay goal after 11 minutes to take the lead. Mustangs scored next but due to the over enthusiastic whistle blowing of the referee, it was disallowed. Not put off by this, the Mustangs continued to put on pressure and debutant Vojtech aged 16 roofed a back handed shot to tie the game at 1. The score would stay 1-1 as the first period ended.
The 2nd period got underway with the same speed from Invicta and the same hard hitting from Peterborough, but after 5 minutes speedy forward Jake Luton skated into the zone with the puck and shot high and hard to beat the Netminder and give the Mustangs a deserved 2-1 lead. Peterborough squared the game with 7 minutes of the period left but it was the youngest forward line of the match of Jake Stedman, Artyom Grzibovskis and James Laming, all 16, who netted next with a shot by Jake being tipped in by Artyom. Just before the second period ended the Islanders levelled once again to make the 3rd period start 3-3.
With all to play for in the 3rd period, coach Ali Roger went for the win and changed lines slightly, but the Mustangs started slowly and within 2 minutes Peterborough took the lead. The game stayed at 4-3, with both sides trying everything they could to get another goal but to no avail. With 1.30 left on the clock, Invicta pulled their Netminder to gain the extra forward, but Peterborough extended their lead with an empty net goal as their forward picked up a loose puck. Peterborough scored again in the last 30 seconds as the Mustangs battled forward again to finish the game 6-3.
Despite the loss Coach Ali Roger was very pleased with his young team who skated hard and battled all night to come out with a credible result against a very experienced Peterborough team.
Photos of the game can be found at: http://davidtudman.smugmug.com/Islanders-Vs-Mustangs/