The Clarence Mustangs 2004 Bantam Minor just completed a tremendous season.
It started back in August in of 2017 when 10 of the team members entered a 3 on 3 tournament at The Gale Center in Niagara Falls Canada. The Mustangs won the Championship beating 4 teams from Canada. This was a sign of good things to come.
In October, The Mustangs traveled to Notre Dame for the South Bend Cup. They competed against teams from the U.S. and Canada that were both 2004 and 2003 birth years. The team attended the Notre Dame D1 men’s hockey home opener. In the tournament, the boys advanced to the championship game that was played on Lefty Arena. The team was down 2-1 in the third period when they pulled the goalie with one minute remaining. The Mustangs scored to tie the game with only 32 seconds left. Neither team scored in overtime, so a shootout was needed to determine a winner. The Mustangs scored on the first two attempts, and their goalie stopped both opponents, to win the tournament championship!
In January, the Mustangs travelled to Toledo, Ohio to play in the Walleye Cup. The Mustangs steam rolled all competitors, winning 5 straight games. The final was played at the 7500-seat Huntington Arena, home of the Toledo Walleye. The Mustangs won 7-3, taking the championship, and winning their third tournament of the year.
The following weekend was the Harbor Center Cup in Buffalo. The Mustangs advanced to the playoff round. In the semi-finals they again had some late game heroics. The Mustangs pulled the goalie to score with 1:05 left in the third period to send the game to overtime. The Mustangs won in overtime to advance to the final.
In the final game, the Mustangs played the Cleveland Barons, who were ranked top 50 in the country, and undefeated in the tournament. At the end of regulation, the game was tied 2-2 and went to overtime. It was still tied after the first overtime. Unfortunately, the Barons scored late in double overtime to win the Championship. Another great performance by the Mustangs.
Now the Mustangs turned their to winning the WNYAHL Bantam Minor Playoffs. The Mustangs ended the season winning the last 7 games. In the playoffs, they faced the Buffalo Stars. The Mustangs came out strong and soundly defeated them 7-3 to advance to the Championship. A week later they faced the perennial powerhouse Rochester Grizzlies. In the end, the Mustangs were victorious winning 3- 2 to take the WNYAHL Bantam Minor AA Red Championship!
The Mustangs finished with an impressive record for the season of 24 wins, 14 losses and 4 ties. The Mustangs allowed the fewest goals in WNYAHL to AA division.
The Mustangs are now poised to make a run at the NYSAHA playoffs next year. They have proven to be the top team next year and will be bringing back nearly the same roster. The squad will be looking to add a few players at forward and defense to bolster the already strong team.
Tryouts will be held at Cornerstone Arena on April 11th and 12th. See details at clarencemustangs.com. Contact Coach Dave Yemma with questions.