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'Stangs spank Buffs

By Neil H. Devlin, Mullen Sports Information Director
Mullen rolls to 15-2 victory in the new Class 5A League No. 1, but improvement remains the goal; Hane turns in six scores.
AURORA – Indeed, they won by a bunch, but were looking for more … a lot more.

The Mullen Mustangs handled host Smoky Hill 15-2 on Friday evening to open Class 5A League No. 1 and gladly accepted their third consecutive victory, although there’s work to be done and it’s just beginning.

“We played down to our competition, that’s for sure,” Mustangs head coach Matt Cawley said in referencing the winless Buffaloes (0-6 overall, 0-1 in league). “It’s nice to win 15-2, but we could have done more. We came out flat; I don’t know why.”

Mullen  (3-1, 1-0) was playing its first game in nine days and had assorted issues, such as difficulty passing and handling, and shot selection, but never trailed, generally remained in command and kept the Buffaloes chasing.

Leading just 5-0 after the first half, Mullen put it away in the third quarter. All of Brandon Hane’s six goals came in the second half.

“We have to clean up some of the sloppiness,” he said. “We definitely need a little more movement off the ball and just be a little more fluid.”

And, as Cawley suggested, the Mustangs will strive for more sources of scoring – only four players found the back of the net with Nicky Bond adding four goals, Chris  Bougie 3 and Keegan Quinn 2.

Connor Warren had three assists, Hane and Quinn two each, and Dom Flores, a junior defenseman who also played well in transition, had one.

“We have to balance it out a bit,” Cawley said.

In addition, he cited the play of defenseman Dylan Ellerby and Flores, and said junior face-off Max Thomason “had his best game.”

The Mustangs will be back at it in five days, on Wednesday, May 26, at home against Eaglecrest in league, 7 p.m.

Mullen  3  2  6  4  --  15

Smoky Hill  0  0  2  0  --  2

Mullen goals – Brandon Hane 6, Nicky Bond 4, Chris Bougie 3, Keegan Quinn 2.

Mullen assists – Connor Warren 3, Brandon Hane 2, Keegan Quinn 2, Dom Flores.