You probably have heard of character-building victories, benchmark victories, defining victories and the like …
Mullen may have coined a new term – how about a defining tie?
The Mustangs rallied from a two goal deficit and managed a 2-2 tie with Liberty on Saturday night in front of a loud crowd at The Edge Ice Arena.
Mullen is 1-11-1 overall, 1-2-1 in the 4A North. Liberty is 7-8-1, 3-4-1.
Certainly, Mustangs head coach Devon Brady craved a much-needed victory for his underclass-dominated team, but didn’t need to apologize for the effort or performance.
“We played really well and just didn’t get rewarded at the end,” he said.
The Mustangs’ few mistakes were penalties early, four in the first period that led to the 2-0 deficit, both on the power play.
“We dug ourselves a hole right out of the gate taking too many penalties,” Brady said. “We’re not good enough to be doing that.”
However, the Mustangs got it together in the second period on a Ciaran Dooley goal at 8:29, even strength from Ben Hollingsworth and Miles Fusting, and leveled the game on a sweet, backhanded roofer by Leo Mansfield, a power-play score at 15:57 from Lucas Nafe.
Mullen freshman goalie Will Dobson was stellar – he blocked or deflected a bunch of shots, used a quick glove hand on some rockets from the point and wings, didn’t give up many gift rebounds and kept his team in the game despite having to deal with 45 shots.
Offensively, Mullen also created had multiple chances, including a breakaway, but never found the back of the net again.
Still, Brady liked so much of what he saw. For one thing, Dooley’s goal kept the Lancers from possibly going up 3-0 and “for us to rally and stay with it, it was a big learning moment for us, big for us … guys got meaningful minutes tonight, which bodes well for the rest of the season and next year. It was just a really good effort.”
Of Mansfield’s goal, which cruised through a very small window, Brady said “you coud be out here with a bucket of pucks and not come close.”
He also cited Dobson’s stand-up play in back of a defense that was determined and “we were waiting for this to happen, we’ve been trying to put it all together and play for a full 51 (minutes). I’m not surprised. We’re trying to get better every day.
“I’m very pleased.”
Mullen will host Aspen in a matinee on Tuesday, Feb. 8, at The Edge, first puck will drop at 2:30 p.m.
MULLEN 2, LIBERTY 2, OT
Liberty 2 0 0 0 -- 2
Mullen 0 2 0 0 -- 2
Mullen goals – Ciaran Dooley, Leo Mansfield.
Mullen assists – Ben Hollingsworth, Miles Fusting, Lucas Nafe.
Mullen saves – Will Dobson 43.
Shots on goal – Liberty 45, Mullen 26.
Power plays -- Liberty 2-for-6, Mullen 1-for-5.
Penalties – Liberty 10 minutes on 5 in fractions, Mullen 12 minutes on 6 infractions.
Girls Swim & Dive
In the Centennial League ‘A’ Championships at Arapahoe, the Mustangs placed seventh as a team.
Next for the Mustangs are the 4A Championships to be held at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center in Thornton Thursday-Friday, Feb, 10-11.
Below are Mullen’s top finishers in the league finale:
CENTENNIAL LEAGUE ‘A’ CHAMPIONSHIPS
Team scores – Cherry Creek 951, Arapahoe 890, Grandview 750, Cherokee trail 649, Smoky Hill 407, Eaglecrest 287, Mullen 251, Overland 24.
200-yard medley relay – 6. Stella Zinis, Ashley Terry, Alyssa Terry, Sahara Zurita, 1 minute, 59.90 seconds.
200 freestyle – 16. Grace Champagne, 2:11.89.
200 individual medley – 12. Sahara Zurita, 2:24.53.
50 freestyle – 21 (tie). Stella Zinis and Sarah Vasten, 27.41; 23. Alyssa Terry, 27.51.
Diving – 8. Romi Gutierrez, 231 points.
100 butterfly – 17. Sahara Zurita, 1:05.58; 22. Grace Champagne, 1:13.27.
100 freestyle – 16. Anne Kozlevchar, 59.55; 21. Alyssa Terry, 1:01.23; 23. Sarah Vasten, 1:02.32.
500 freestyle – 15. Anne Kozlevchar, 5:53.71.
200 freestyle relay – 7. Stella Zinis, Sarah Vasten, Shannon McCarthy, Alyssa Terry, 1:49.61.
100 backstroke – 21. Stella Zinis, 1:09.51.
100 breaststroke – 13. Ashley Terry, 1:16.22.
400 freestyle relay – 6. Anne Kozlevchar, Shannon McCarthy, Sarah Vasten, Brigid Anderson, 4:12.15.