Despite the cold weather, Saturday night was heated at Mountain America Center.
The Idaho Falls Spud Kings hosted the Ogden Mustangs.
The Spud Kings found themselves in hot water early. Spud Kings Forward Sergey Yakunin took a high-sticking penalty just over three minutes into the game, and it only took the Mustangs seven seconds of powerplay time to make them pay.
The Spud Kings tied it up five minutes later, but allowed another powerplay goal in the second period. They didn’t wait long to even the score again.
Hockey coaches have a favorite saying: “Put pucks on net and good things happen.” Spud Kings Forward Jack O’Rourke learned that first-hand as he fanned on a shooting attempt, but watched it somehow slide past Mustangs Goalie David Ors-Mag for the equalizing goal.
Tied game, 2-2.
All signs pointed to overtime. Members of the crowd could hardly stay in their seats. Every shot and hit was followed by a massive “oooohhhh” from the fans, desperately hoping for something big to happen. And it did.
Forward Jake Meure, who led Mustangs in goals with 42 — 13 more than his highest-scoring teammate — was the recipient of a fortuitous bounce. He found himself open in front of the Spud Kings’ net and made no mistake putting it past Goalie Colin Rowbotham for the go-ahead goal.
With just under 14 minutes left to tie the game, the Spud Kings dictated play. They had two powerplay opportunities, including one in the last two minutes, during which they pulled the goalie for a 6-on-4.
The fans coached the rest of the game, yelling “shoot” every time the Spud Kings had the puck remotely close to the Mustangs’ net. Even with 5,000 coaches in the stands on this sold-out night, they couldn’t tie it up.
The Spud Kings now have a 1-5-0 record against the Mustangs this season. They face each other once more this season on Feb. 24 in Ogden.