Hythe Mustangs (1-1-0) 4th in West vs Grande Prairie Athletics (4-0-0) 1st in West
The Hythe Mustangs and the Grande Prairie Athletics play the first of five games in 2013-2014. While the season series has typically been controlled by the Grande Prairie Athletics the Mustangs ended a long skid of losing at the Coca Cola Centre last season when they upset the A’s 4 to 3 on November 29th. From that point on it was all Athletics winning the remaining regular season games and then eliminating the Mustangs in the playoffs last season in four straight games.
Big Story:The Athletics are looking to continue their early season winning ways hoping to notch their fifth straight victory and try to separate themselves from the rest of the NPHL and Western division. This will be just one of two home games remaining for the month of November for Grande Prairie.
As mentioned Grande Prairie is entering it’s fifth contest while Hythe will be skating in just their third. After opening the season with a win over the Dawson Creek Canucks the Mustangs dropped a 6 to 2 decision on home ice to the Manning Comets.
With a full roster and a handful of contributors the past few games it’s unlikely the Athletics lineup will remain the same from it’s previous win in Spirit River Saturday night. The line of newcomers Blaine Bablitz, Tanner Labbe and Adam Boytinck continues to be hot. Bablitz and Boytinck remain one/two in league scoring with Labbe tied for third.
Perhaps the bigger story has been the success of the Grande Prairie special teams. The A’s are currently tied for second in Powerplay percentage clicking at 33.33% while their penalty kill, having given up one Powerplay goal this season, sits second at 92.31%.
The Mustangs on the other hand find themselves in the middle of the pack in both statistical categories. Hythe has scored three powerplay goals in twelve chances (25%) while allowing three goals on twelve chances (75%).
Outlook:Statistically and historically the outlook favours the Grande Prairie Athletics but the Mustangs come in with a new team philosophy and direction. The old adage of being in first you should expect a teams best effort should reign true tonight at the Coca Cola Centre.
Grande Prairie has scored first in every game it’s played thus far and will look to once again do the same to get the wheels rolling.
Join us tonight at the Coca Cola Centre for another entertaining NPHL game. Puck drop is scheduled to be 8:30pm.