Ogden Mustangs

by Mustangs Staff

Mustangs add playmaking Californian for 2019-20

The Ogden Mustangs have added Zach Pires, out of Orange, California, for the 2019-20 season.

Pires is looking for a big bounce-back season in Ogden, after his last season was cut extremely short, only playing three games for the MJHL’s Neepawa Natives.

“This is a huge season for me,” Pires said. “I found out I had badly torn rotator cuffs on both shoulders last season, which required surgery. I’ve been off since last October and was able to get healthy and stronger than I’ve ever been. I expect to have a really good bounce-back season, being able to play hockey feeling 100 percent will definitely help me produce and play the way I know I can.”

Prior to jumping to the MJHL, Pires played for the Anaheim Jr. Ducks 18U in the T1EHL. He was a top-10 scorer on that team, which featured Pires, who went to the MJHL, and other guys who went directly to the SJHL, BCHL and NAHL. The team also featured Teemu Selanne’s youngest son. Pires had 25 points in 36 games for the Jr. Ducks.

To get the inside scoop about the Mustangs, Pires reached out to a key member of last season’s team, and a fellow Southern Californian: Shane Gilbert.

“He’s a good buddy of mine,” Pires said. “I reached out to Shane, and he had nothing but great things to say. I did some research, and the organization looks like a first-class organization that takes really good care of its players. Great rink too. The city of Ogden itself looks like an unreal place to live, with the beautiful mountains around it. I’m really excited to join the team and head to Ogden soon.”

Pires stands at 5-feet-8-inches and 165 pounds. Born in 1999, this is his final season of junior hockey eligibility. He’s a speedy forward, with great vision and primarily sees himself as a play maker, but he can also put the puck in the net. He says he models his game after Anaheim Duck legend Ryan Getzlaf.

Pires is the 11th player announced so far on the Mustangs’ 2019-20 roster. He’s the fifth new addition to go along with six returners from last season.

McKinley returning for 2019-20

Ogden Mustangs forward Ethan McKinley will return for his second season, and final season of junior hockey eligibility, with the team in 2019-20.

“I’m ready to come back to Ogden to finish my junior career,” McKinley said. “This team, along with this town, is amazing. I’m blessed to have another season here to get the Thorne Cup. I’m ready to help this year’s team out and keep getting better to get to the best college I can.”

McKinley had eight goals and 10 assists for 18 points in 50 regular season games last season. He had a goal and two assists in nine playoff games. McKinley filled an important depth role, anchoring at center the statistically-best fourth line in the Western States Hockey League, skating with Aidan McAleer and Alex Engan.

McKinley’s speed and work ethic was an asset to the Mustangs last season, and led to some big-time goals.

From Odessa, Tex., McKinley stands at 5-feet-11-inches and 160 pounds, and was born in 1999.

McKinley is the sixth returner from last season’s team whose return has been announced, with still more to come.

Here’s how the 2019-20 roster stands, as announced, up to this point:

G – Artur Ogandzhanyan
D – Johan Zöllner
D – Christian Phinney
D – Oliver Wieringa
F – Harry Gulliver
F – Alex Engan
F – Nick Garza
F – Gleb Krivoshapkin
F – Cannon Rogers
F – Ethan McKinley

Rogers returning for 2019-20

Ogden Mustangs forward Cannon Rogers will return for his second season with the team in 2019-20.

“I’m very excited to get back to work with all of the boys and show what I can bring for this season,” Rogers said. “I think that I can play a heightened role this year, and I’m going to strive to be a key player in the lineup every night. Very excited for my second year in Ogden.”

Rogers had five goals and 11 assists for 16 points in 36 games last season as a rookie. He filled an important depth role and improved throughout the season, in his first year of junior hockey.

A local player, born in the McKay-Dee Hospital right across the street from The Ice Sheet in Ogden, Rogers stands at 5-feet-11-inches and 170 pounds, and was born in 2000. He’ll still have another season of junior hockey eligibility remaining after this season.

Rogers came up through the Jr. Wildcat program here in Ogden, before the program was renamed as the Jr. Mustangs. He was 10 years old during the Mustangs’ inaugural season, and attended nearly all the Mustang home games in the 2012-13 season.

Rogers is the third Utah local to be announced thus far on the 2019-20 roster, with still another Utah local to come.

Mustangs add Ukrainian speedster for 2019-20

The Ogden Mustangs have added former teammate of star goaltender Artur Ogandzhanyan and fellow Ukrainian national player Gleb Krivoshapkin for the 2019-20 season.

Ogandzhanyan and Krivoshapkin are both from Kharkov, Ukraine and grew up playing on the same teams. While Ogandzhanyan made his way to the US a few seasons ago, Krivoshapkin stayed in Ukraine. For the past two seasons, Krivoshapkin has played for HK Kremenchuk in Ukraine’s top professional league, alongside much older players, some of which have KHL experience. He’s racked up an impressive 47 points in 75 games and was named an assistant captain, as an 18 year old last season. He also has international experience, playing alongside Ogandzhanyan on the Ukrainian national U-18 and U-20 teams. Krivoshapkin has 12 points in 18 games of international competition.

Krivoshapkin describes himself as a serious competitor and a leader.

“I’m ready for work and big wins,” Krivoshapkin said.

Krivoshapkin stands at 5-feet-10-inches and 176 pounds. Born in 2000, he still has another season of eligibility remaining after this season. He’s a speedy forward, with good hands, who can see the ice well, get into scoring areas and put the puck in the net.

WSHL’s top goaltender Ogandzhanyan returning to Ogden for 2019-20

After posting a Western States Hockey League best .938 save percentage last season, Ogden Mustangs Ukranian goaltender Artur Ogandzhanyan will be back for his second season with the Mustangs in 2019-20.

If you were going to make a list of the top eligible Mustang players from last season who would give the team the greatest chances of success by coming back to the Mustangs this season, Ogandzhanyan would be at the top of that list. If you were also going to make a list of players who were most likely to be highly-recruited by other top teams in other high-profile leagues this offseason, Ogandzhanyan would be at the top of that list as well. Regardless, the Mustangs are thrilled to have him back, and he’s ready to build off of last season’s success with a single goal in mind.

“I think last year was very good,” Ogandzhanyan said. “By the end of the season, we all become very close to each other. It was a special group of people. I’m pretty sure everyone who’s coming back is hungry to win the cup. That’s what our goal is.”

Ogandzhanyan came in as one of the younger Mustang players on last season’s roster, but he showed an impressive work ethic, consistency and professionalism from day one, which earned him the starting goaltender spot. He would hold onto that spot all season long, giving the Mustangs some extremely-valued consistency between the pipes that they could rely on all.

Along with his league-leading .938 save percentage, he posted a 1.83 goals against average last season, which was second best in the WSHL. In the playoffs, Ogandzhanyan’s numbers were even more impressive, with a 1.00 goals against average and .961 save percentage. Those numbers include matchups against the league’s very best teams in the Thorne Cup Finals. In the regular season and playoffs combined, Ogandzhanyan posted a record of 32-3-2.

Ogandzhanyan backstopped the Mustangs as the top defensive team in the WSHL, allowing a league-best 86 goals in 51 regular season games.

Needless to say, last season was filled with highlight-reel performances from Ogandzhanyan.

From Kharkov, Ukraine, Ogandzhanyan stands at 5-feet-11-inches and 185 pounds. Born in 2000, he still has another season of eligibility remaining after this season.

Mustangs add former Viewmont captain for 2019-20

The Ogden Mustangs have another local signing for this coming season in two-way forward Nick Garza.

Garza is from Kaysville, Utah and played four seasons for Viewmont High School, winning two Utah State Championships. He captained the Vikings during his senior season, 2016-17, where he was teammates with fellow Mustang Diego Contreras and was third in team scoring with 28 points in 17 games. He played for the Park City Ice Miners program the following season.

“I’ve known a lot of Mustang players growing up, and I’ve been to a lot of games,” Garza said. “I’ve been considering playing for the Mustangs the past couple years. It’s a great organization, and I have high expectations for this year. It should be a good group of guys, and I’m looking forward to us getting better and better day-by-day”

Garza stands at 6-feet-1-inch and 185-pounds. He describes himself as playmaking forward who can play physical. He also has experience on defense. Born in 1999, this will be his final season of junior hockey eligibility.

Garza continues a trend of local players gravitating to the Mustangs as of late. Last season the Mustangs had four players from the state of Utah in Ammon Anderson, Diego Contreras, Anders Johnson and Cannon Rogers. That’s the most a single Mustangs team has had in franchise history. So far this season, Garza joins Christian Phinney as two local products on the team, with more to come.

Continue to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram throughout the offseason for more new-signing and returning-player news.

Gulliver returning for 2019-20 to finish what he started

This coming season Harry Gulliver will do something only one other Ogden Mustangs player has done in franchise history up to this point: Playing four seasons in Ogden.

Gulliver already enters this, his final season of junior hockey, with 160 career games played, which is the fourth most in Mustangs history. He’s 26 games away from breaking the all-time record, set by the only other guy to play four seasons, former all-time leading scorer Schuyler Seyfert.

Along with games played, Gulliver is also seventh all time in assists (89) and eighth all time in points (137). Gulliver has improved his numbers each season with the Mustangs, with career-high numbers last season of 21 goals and 33 assists for 54 points in 45 games.

But beyond personal statistics and milestones, after playing in three consecutive Thorne Cup Finals, this season is all about bringing home the hardware from that championship game.

“I just wanted to finish in Ogden,” Gulliver said. “I love the fans, and I’m ready to win a Thorne Cup in my last year. I’ve had a great three seasons here, so I don’t know why I wouldn’t come back for my last one and finish what I started.”

Gulliver had multiple highlight-reel plays throughout the past season, showcasing his speed, puck-handling ability, vision and passing.

An 6-foot-1-inch, 188-pound Essex, England native, Gulliver continues the Great Britain presence on the roster. There has been at least one player from England or Scotland on the Mustangs roster for the past seven seasons. Those before him have all gone back home to play professionally.

Continue to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram throughout the offseason for more new-signing and returning-player news. We have a few other exciting returners to announce soon.

Mascali commits to UMass Dartmouth for 2019-20

May 18, 2019

Ogden Mustangs captain from this past season and all-time top scoring defenseman Ryan Mascali has committed to the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth for the 2019-20 season.

Mascali joins his defense partner from the end of last season, Stephon Perreault, as the second Mustang to head to Dartmouth and is the ninth Mustang from last season to commit to an NCAA program.

“I’m excited to go to a good program, knowing that my time in Ogden prepared me well to excel at the next level,” Mascali said.

After completing his third season as a Mustang, Mascali is the team’s all-time top scoring defenseman in franchise history, with 111 points in 174 games. He was seventh in team scoring this past season with 54 points in 48 games.

UMass Dartmouth is located an hour south of Boston and 30 minutes southeast of Providence, Rhode Island. It is one of five UMass campuses. The Corsairs compete in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference.

The Mustangs continue to lead the WSHL in NCAA placement. They’ve had the highest NCAA placement rate in the Western States Hockey League over the past seven seasons, since joining the league.

Perreault joins the following current/former Mustangs with NCAA commitments: Stephon Perreault(UMass Dartmouth), Zeke Zeier (Bethel), Anders Johnson (Fredonia), Kerry Kruzel (Buffalo State), Rhett Rampinelli (Wentworth), John Shively (Buffalo State), Ian Currie (St. Mary’s) and Owen Zdunski (SUNY Cortland). The Mustangs had five NCAA commitments last season, including Matus Spodniak who went to NCAA DI American International College.

Mustangs add local D-man for 2019-20

April 29, 2019 

The Ogden Mustangs have another signing for this coming season in puck-moving defenseman Christian Phinney.

Phinney calls Draper, Utah home and played for the Utah Junior Grizzlies growing up. He spent the past two seasons playing for the Wenatchee Wolves program in the NAPHL 18U.

“I’m very excited to join the Mustangs,” Phinney said. “I saw the team play this past season and was very impressed. I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Phinney stands at 6-feet and 180-pounds. He describes himself as primarily a defensive defenseman, who’s solid in his own end, but has the ability to move the puck up the ice quickly. Born in 2000, he still has two seasons of junior hockey eligibility remaining.

Phinney continues a trend of local players gravitating to the Mustangs as of late. Last season the Mustangs had four players from the state of Utah in Ammon Anderson, Diego Contreras, Anders Johnson and Cannon Rogers. That’s the most a single Mustangs team has had in franchise history.

Next Zöllner brother is 1st signing for 2019-20

April 22, 2019

Just one week into the offseason, the Ogden Mustangs have signed Johan Zöllner as the first new signing for the 2019-20 season.

Johan is the younger brother of Andreas and Adam Zöllner. Andreas had 51 points in 44 games in the 2014-15 season and led the team in playoff points with 12 in seven games, helping the Mustangs to their second division championship. Adam led the Mustangs in scoring the following season, with 74 points in 52 games, a then-single-season points record, skating on a formidable top line with Caleb Pola and Austin Shea.

Both Andreas and Adam went on to play NCAA hockey together at New England College.

The first difference to note between Johan and his high-scoring, offensively-potent brothers, is that Johan is a defenseman, not a forward.

“I would say I’m a two-way defender,” Johan said. “I feel quite confident in both ends of the ice. I like having the puck and being a part of plays all over the ice.”

With half of the Mustangs’ experienced defense corps from last season aging out and moving on, Johan is expected to be an asset on the back end this coming season.

“I am very excited to be a part of the Ogden organization,” Johan said. “I have heard nothing but great things about the city, fans and the organization. Of course my brothers played a big part in my decision, since they both had a great time and developed a lot both as people and as players there. But Coach, and the atmosphere around the game that I’ve heard so much about, also played a great part. The East family was also a big part of making my decision, both Adam and Andreas had a great time billeting with them, and so it makes the move away from Sweden much easier when knowing I’ll be living with a great family.”

Johan stands at 6-feet-1-inch and 210 pounds. The Zöllners’ hometown is Värnamo, Sweden. Born in 2000, Johan has two seasons of junior hockey eligibility remaining. This will be his first season in North America, having played his youth hockey for Värnamo GIK and playing last season for IF Troja-Ljungby in the J20 Elit.

Continue to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram throughout the offseason for more new signing and returning player news.