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#DineenCupPlayoffs Preview: Ogden Mustangs vs. Idaho Falls Spud Kings 

By Joshua Boyd / NCDCHockey.com 

 

Mountain Division

Ogden Mustangs (1) vs. Idaho Falls Spud Kings (4)

Best Of Five

All Times MST

Friday, March 29, 7:15 p.m. at Ogden

Saturday, March 30, 7:15 p.m. at Ogden

Monday, April 1, 7:05 p.m. at Idaho Falls

Wednesday, April 3, 7:05 p.m. at Idaho Falls*

Saturday, April 6, 7:15 p.m. at Ogden*

* = If Necessary 

 

For the first time in NCDC history, a playoff series will begin west of the Mississippi River – heck, even to the west of the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania. 

Two Mountain Division semifinals begin on Friday evening, with one of the two pitting the inaugural regular season champion Ogden Mustangs against the visiting Idaho Falls Spud Kings. 

“It’s an exciting time for the NCDC Mountain Division, as we embrace the first year of playoffs, in a highly competitive division,” said Spud Kings General Manager Erik Hudson. “Both teams in this series have tremendous upside and have been playing some of their best hockey to date. I am optimistic that whoever comes out of this battle will have a fantastic chance to be the Mountain representative in the NCDC Finals for the Dineen Cup.”

The Spud Kings were just barely able to hold off the challenging Pueblo, earning the No. 4 and final playoff spot by one point. The Spud Kings put up 24-23-4-2 for a total of 54 points in 53 games. 

The Mustangs were in their own battle this year, fighting for No. 1 overall in the Mountain Division against the Utah Outliers. At 37-12-3-1, the Mustangs won their playoff race by two points, with 78 to the Outliers’ 76 points. 

“This is what we compete all year for, is a chance to be here, and it’s time to execute,” said Mustangs Head Coach Kenny Orlando. “Our group has been looking forward to this opportunity for a while now and they’re excited to get going on a run for the Dineen Cup. The boys are well prepared and know our areas of focus on the rink going into these playoff games. Idaho Falls is well coached and solid defensively which makes for a great opponent and games that fans won’t want to miss. 

“There will be electricity from both sides as you’re seeing two of the best fanbases in the game go at it each and every night within this series,” Orlando added. 

The Mustangs held an 8-2-0-0 record this year against the Spud Kings, whose record in the series was 2-7-1-0. Each of their last three match-ups, plus four more in the 10-game series, were one-goal decisions. 

Leading the Mustangs offensively this year was the ‘05 Parker Osborn, who registered 38 goals (tied for the league lead with Hunter Hayes of Pueblo) and 66 points, which was ranked second overall in the league. Longtime Ogden franchise veteran Dimitriy Voyatzis put up 54 points in 49 games, and Teddie Hember led the defense in points with 38 in 45 games. 

The Mustangs come into the playoffs with a pair of goalies who put up winning records this year, including Nikita Volsky at 11-6-1-0 with a 2.49 GAA and a .925 save percentage. Volsky came to the team from Pueblo and creasemate Tade Carman came over from the WBS Knights. For the season, Carman went 15-11-2-1 with a .926 save percentage and a 2.84 GAA. 

The Spud Kings were the only team to be led in scoring by a defenseman in the regular season, as D.J. MacLeish put up 47 points in 50 games, finishing second in scoring by a defenseman to the Rockets Hockey Club’s Jonah Copre (49 points). 

With 30 points, Sacha Trudel finished as the team’s leading forward, while in net, Tucker Inabinet was red hot down the stretch and finished fourth in save percentage at .930, and he was also top 10 in goals against average at 2.77.

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