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'Stangs rebound and score against Kadets

By Neil H. Devlin, Mullen Sports Information Director
Mullen bounces back after tough stretch with a 6-1 road victory in the Springs; hat trick for Klem, 2 goals for Gilbert; key matchup with Colorado Academy on Wednesday. 
COLORADO SPRINGS – After the three-game set against Kent Denver that resulted in gut-wrenching losses, Mullen’s Mustangs were beat, but not beaten; disappointed but not discouraged; and challenged, not forgotten.

The climb back began on Monday, when the Mustangs handled host Air Academy 6-1 at Sertich Arena. They improved to 5-3 overall and sit at 3-1 in the Class 4A North.

Even with the Kadets winless (0-7), Mullen was glad to be on the other side after the game, particularly after having 70 more shots during their three-game slide, yet getting outscored 12-7.

“Always,” Mullen head coach Devon Brady said. “It’s hard to get up after that, especially with how we played as well as we did. (On Monday) we were a little lethargic before we started to get over the hangover from this weekend … all things considered, getting back on the right track, I thought we played OK for the most part. We had way too much individual effort, I’m not surprised. They were trying to feel good about themselves. I’m not overly displeased with it … any time you can come down to Colorado Springs and get a win, I will take that.”

Mullen’s quick start featured two goals by Nick Gilbert, one on the power play. The Mustangs never trailed, finished and made a point.

“You know, it was just a hot start,” Gilbert said. “One through 32 had a good game and we had a good game between the pipes.”

Realistically, he added, “we needed this, a good stomping. It felt good to get some anger out after those three losses.”

Also important to Brady was getting the third goal, which the Mustangs did – by Hayden Klem in the second. He added his second goal and set up Riley Watters for another. In the third, Klem completed his hat trick.

Defensively, the Mustangs back line was strong again and freshman goalie Logan Clothier was thorough, permitting the Kadets’ lone score 13 seconds into the third.

J.C. Carter, Eoin Canavan, Aidan Cashman, Gilbert, Klem (two), Ian McDougall, Amos Mills and Larry Simons were credited with assists.

Mullen still is alive for at least the at-large postseason berth in 4A and it continues on Wednesday, March 3, at The Edge against undefeated Colorado Academy, 6 p.m.

“It’s just on to the next one, the task ahead,” Gilbert said. “It’s a new day, a new day for hockey and we have to come out with a good attitude.”

Mullen  2  3  1 –  6

Air Academy  0  0  1 –  1


First Period – 1, Mullen, Nick Gilbert, pp (Hayden Klem, Amos Mills), 6:10; 2, Mullen, Nick Gilbert (J.C. Carter, Aidan Cashman), 11:08.

Second Period – 3, Hayden Klem, pp (Nick Gilbert, Eoin Canavan), 4:10; 4, Mullen, Hayden Klem (Larry Simons, Ian McDougall), 12:28; 5, Mullen, Riley Watters, sh (Hayden Klem), 15:47

Third Period – 6, Air Academy Joey Polaski (Caleb Weien), 0:13. 7, Mullen, Hayden Klem (unassisted), 3:43.

Penalties – Mullen 18 minutes on nine infractions; Air Academy 15 minutes on six infractions.

Note: Air Academy did not post shots on goal, saves or power plays.