Hockey season never sleeps.
After a month off, Mustangs jerseys were worn once again on Calgary ice, at the Shouldice Arena where the 2018 Mustangs Spring Camp is being hosted. The camp will run all weekend long, featuring some of the top talent from the likes of the AMHL, bantam and AA leagues in Alberta and the U.S. Competition is fierce and competitive, and that’s exactly what the Mustangs brass is looking for.
On the ice the goal is simple: make an impact. During Friday night's action, the pace was fast with lots of physical play. The group is well rounded, a mixture of high-end talent and a hard work ethic. The coaching staff commented that they expect the compete level to be very high, and that the hockey will be playoff-like. The battle for a roster spot in September, starts this weekend at Shouldice.
"It's high intensity," states rangy defender Cole Martin, who played primarily with the CNHA Canucks in the Alberta Minor Midget Hockey League last season. "Especially when you get these high level camps, you know, it really brings the intensity up further."
"I feel like I fit in pretty well, keeping up with the pace especially with the junior guys and stuff like that. I feel like I could be on one of these teams for sure."
"It's nice, it's a good change of pace," adds goaltender Ethan Woodward, who played with the Mountainview Colts last season. "I always like to challenge myself, try and get better as I go on...I was expecting a few more goalies on each team, but I'm liking all the ice [time], so I'm not complaining."
The prospects will be guided by several Mustang players, alumni and coaching staff. Joining the prospects on the bench will be some familiar names. Chase Miller, Tanner Klassen and Joseph Karpyshyn will be among those notable names that will bench boss a team, and Karpyshyn has the added bonus in that his Blue team features his little brother Jack. Brady Barclay, Daniel Rybarik and Josh Watson will patrol a bench that features up and comers Connor Brock and Jayden Ryan; other notables on the day included Seth Hebert, a 16 year old from Lloydminster, Joel Krahenbil, a big forward playing out of the Okotoks Oilers Midget AAA squad, Braden Plaschewsky, another '02 who led the Alberta Minor Midget Hockey League in scoring last season, and Berk Berkeliev, who was affiliated with the Mustangs last season; they are among a number of young players who have done what they could in making an impact early on as they try to force their way into the top 40 game.
Prospect camp will run for the remainder of the weekend, culminating with Sunday night’s top 40 prospects game. If day 1 of camp is any indication, it’s sure to be a competitive game.
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