Right to the Point

Despite valiant effort, Mustangs ousted from playoff finals

M’CHIGEENG—The Manitoulin Secondary School (MSS) Mustangs boys’ hockey team went down to defeat on home ice on Monday by a score of 4-2 to the St. Benedict Bears in the B division final series.

The loss means St. Benedict took the final best two of three final series in two straight games.

“This morning the St. Ben’s Bears are Division II champions having defeated the Manitoulin Mustangs by a score of 4-2 in an exciting game played at the NEMI Recreation Centre Monday night,” said Mustangs coach Steve Doane in an email to the Recorder. He said the Mustangs, “outplayed the Bears for large parts of the game but had trouble overcoming some very solid St. Ben’s goaltending. It was one of those frustrating games that teams have, where a couple of ill-timed penalties and the inability to catch a break or a bounce ruin your night. The boys played hard and really wanted it; it just wasn’t going to happen for us.”

Nathan Debassige got both of the Mustangs goals, both on the power play. “We had lots of chances, we just couldn’t bury them,” said Mr. Doane. “We thought we had a third goal late in the third period but it was called off by a high stick. The hockey people I talked to after the game thought that it should have been a good goal as the stick made contact with the puck at waist level, well below the crossbar, but feel the ref may have been fooled by the stick coming from higher up before making contact.”

Mr. Doane added, “the boys really improved over the course of the season. We pretty much started from scratch this year with only four returning players. We will be losing Alex Smith, Mason Pine and Tyler Argue for sure next season to graduation. I would expect that we will lose a few more players for various reasons. We could be strong at the start of next year or we could be starting at square one once again in the fall.

The NEMI Recreation Centre was jam packed with spectators for Monday’s game.