September 10 - The Melfort Mustangs split the opening two games of their SJHL exhibition schedule with the La Ronge Ice Wolves. However the coaching and scouting staff have been using the opening games to assess the crop of potential Mustangs remaining with the team.
“It was very good for evaluating especially Saturday night was very good. We got to see who could step up and handle the play. That’s the whole point of the exhibition which is that you can get a good evaluation of everybody,” Mustangs’ coach Gavin Holcomb said.
A key to the appraisal is how players can adapt to the level of play in Junior “A” hockey.
“(We are watching for) guys that can adjust to the league and adjust to the play. I felt some guys adapted very well the other night after the first period. Getting their feet wet a little bit and understanding what the league is all about,” he explained.
Players that are ready earlier have a better chance of making the final roster.
He explained that player evaluation is a continuous process throughout the season. The roster is theoretically finalized when the January 10 trade deadline comes around.
On Saturday night a squad that included only three veteran players, Regan Wilton, Jamie Miller and Adam Fauchoux lost 9-4 to the La Ronge Ice Wolves at the Northern Lights Palace.
Fauchoux scored a pair for the Mustangs, while Justin Boyer and Travis Mayan added the other Melfort goals.
Kade Kehoe, Cole Golka and Jared Iron each scored a pair for La Ronge; other Ice Wolves’ goals came from Sebastian Beauregard, Michael Sagen and Jason Berube.
Former Tisdale Trojan Austin Rediron, who recently arrived with the Mustangs, split goaltending duties with Melfort’s Jack Romaniuk.
On Friday night in an all-rookie game the Mustangs defeated the Ice Wolves 4-1.
According to Holcomb veteran players will be added to the lineup as the exhibition season continues.
“We need to get our veterans in at some point because we want them to be ready for when the season starts,” he said.
The Mustangs are in Humboldt tonight (Tuesday, September 10) taking on the Humboldt Broncos. They host the Kindersley Klippers on Friday, September 13 at the Northern Lights Palace, game time is 7:30 p.m.
The Mustangs conclude their exhibition season in Kindersley on Saturday, September 14.