In the spring of 2011 the Melfort Mustangs Board of Directors hired Gavin Holcomb as their new Head Coach and General Manager. Gavin hunted around and hired Dwight Kulchysky as his assistant coach. During the 2011 - 2012 season they set out to rebuild the team with hopes of it paying off in the coming seasons. This rebuilding process lead to the Mustangs missing the playoffs as expected.
The Mustang Nation is not a patient bunch as they have watched their Rivals to the south west raise many banners since the last one went up in the Palace in 1999. The only thing they have had to tide them over was beating the Nipawin Hawks in both the playoff meetings during this long drought. But even those are becoming distant memories. So here we are in the second year of the rebuild. Gavin and Dwight set a goal for this year's team at the start of the year to grab a playoff spot and as they entered the 53 game of the season they had a chance to do just that.
With a win in the 53 game of the year and a loss by the Laronge Ice Wolves the Mustangs would clinch their playoff spot. But the opponent for this game would be the Sherwood Conference leading Yorkton Terriers. The Terriers came to town on a mission of their own as they were battling with Melville for that 1st place spot in their conference. The Mustangs were forced to go with just 16 skaters and although shorthanded they played a solid game lead by their possible MVP Goaltender Jesse Wilkins who made 23 saves on 24 shots while Brandon Formosa notched his team leading 17th and 18th goals of the year. Brandon Sloan notched his 16th and 17th of the year and Brady Goebel tossed in another goal to make the final 5-1 for the home team. The team knew they needed the win to secure the playoff spot and they went out and did just that in convincing fashion.
Now that they are in the Playoffs it will be up to the boys to keep playing their solid defensive game that will keep the shot totals down and the offensive chances against to a minimum. If they are capable of doing this then we know that the tandem of Jesse Wilkins and Patrick Johnson will give them a chance to win.
Their first round opponent will be the Battleford North Stars. The Mustangs were 2-4-0 vs the Stars this year with one win in Melfort and the other in North Battleford. The series will probably start in North Battleford on Friday March 1st. The first game in Melfort has yet to be determined but I am hoping that a large boisterous crowd will be in attendance for it.
We are back in the playoffs after a one year absence and with 18 players eligible to return next year we can assume this team will be moving on to not only the goal of a playoff spot but to possibly ending the reign of that rival to the South West.