Mustangs hit on all cylinders, claim MSGHL 12U championship
Floyd Braaten said watching his New Mexico Mustangs’ 12U team celebrate a Mountain States Girls Hockey League (MSGHL) championship this season was exhilarating.
That said, the title served as the icing on the cake for the Mustangs’ successful season.
“Seeing the team win the title was a bonus as the goal of the Mustangs organization is always to develop hockey, life skills, good sportsmanship and learn to enjoy the game,” Braaten said. “While winning is fun, it is not the main goal for the MSGHL team.”
The Mustangs captured the MSGHL title for the second year in a row with a 5-1 victory over the Vail Mountaineers. The championship game was played Feb. 26 at the Edge Ice Arena in Littleton, Colo.
So what’s next for the 12U Mustangs team?
“Out of the 19 kids on the roster, nine move up to 14U next year,” said Braaten. “We are hoping to try to hit a couple 14U AA tournaments just to give it a try on top of our normal MSGHL schedule.”
The Mustangs’ 12U roster is comprised of Emily Archuleta, Hailey Braaten, Gabrellia Domenici, Brianna Fryer, Giada Geherin, Sofia Geherin, Jordan Hancock, Rachel Hart, Taylor Hartinger, Carly Hinz, Lydia Huegler, Ainsley Jakaboski, Shae Jakaboski, Elena Jordan, Kiera Langenwalter, Gabrielle Moss, Audrey Neale, Brianna Shay and Maisyn Shay. Captains were Braaten, Jordan and Maisyn Shay.
Braaten noted that all players skated as a forward or defenseman and just two – Hart and Ainsley Jakaboski – played between the pipes.
“As for positions on this team, the girls understood that they will play every position except goalie,” said Braaten. “I only had two that were crazy enough to play in net and when they were not playing in net, they were skating out.”
When asked what the most special about the 12U group, Braaten didn’t hesitate in his response.
“The best thing about this team is they played for each other, and they played as a team,” said Braaten. “Every kid on the team had at least one goal and every one but three had assists.”
— Matt Mackinder