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Mustangs, Palominos in semifinal horse race

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Kevin Olson

Kevin Olson of the Fort Macleod Mustangs accepts the new Ranchland Hockey League trophy preented Saturday by Wes Stockton to the regular season champions. The Mustangs are playing Nanton Palominos in the playoff semifinals.

Fort Macleod Mustangs showed Sunday they have character to go with all their talent.
After going 19-1 to win the Ranchland Hockey League regular season title the Mustangs were stunned 5-2 Saturday on home ice by the Nanton Palominos in the first game of the semifinals.
The Mustangs shook that loss off and evened the series Sunday with an 8-2 win in the Palominos barn.
Now due to lack of available ice in Fort Macleod, the Mustangs will host a home game Wednesday, March 2 at 8:30 p.m. at Pincher Creek Arena.
The fourth game of the best-of-five series is at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, March 5 at Fort Macleod and District Sports Centre.
Nanton 5 Mustangs 2
The Palominos galloped into Fort Macleod on Saturday night and rode off with home ice advantage.
The Palominos, fresh off a surprise 2-0 sweep of Peigan Cowboys in the quarterfinals, shocked the Mustangs 5-2 at Fort Macleod and District Sports Centre.
Nanton got first period goals from Greg Martin and Brian Grice to open a 2-1 lead.
In the second period Curtis Billsten and Tyrell Sears scored for the Palominos and Nanton took a 4-1 lead into the dressing room.
The teams traded goals in the final 20 minutes and the Palominos galloped home with a 5-2 win to open the series.
The Palominos hammered 50 shots at Mustangs goalie Cody Hall, who was the game’s third star. Fort Macleod got 45 shots at Nanton goalie Bradley Dragger.
Martin was the game’s first star with two goals and two assists for Nanton and Billsten earned second star honours with a goal and two assists.
Tyce Gallamore and Hayden Shackel scored for Fort Macleod. Justin Donahue picked up two assists and Cole Matson and Greg Schimanski each had one.
Mustangs 8 Nanton 2
The Palominos continued their determined effort Sunday at Stavely Arena by opening a 2-1 lead in the first period.
The Mustangs fought back with two goals in the second period and then flexed their offensive muscle with five unanswered third-period goals to post an 8-2 win.
The game was a penalty-filled affair, with Nanton assessed 62 minutes to Fort Macleod’s 60.
The Mustangs directed 45 shots at Dragger in the Nanton goal, while Lincoln Carriere blocked 37 of 39 shots in the Mustangs net to earn second star honours.
First star Greg Schimanski led the Fort Macleod attack with three goals and an assist.
Jaden Porterfield had two goals and an assist for the Mustangs, Tyce Gallamore scored twice and Lander Marr also scored.
Michael Fruman had two assists and Tyler Bilodeau and Eric Kay each had one.
Curtis Billsten scored both Nanton goals. Greg Martin had two assists and Steve McMasters had one.
Brooks vs Lomond
In the other semifinal series, Brooks Black Hawks have a 2-0 lead on the Lomond Lakers.
Brooks beat Lomond 15-6 on Saturday night to open the series.
Sheldon Wenzel and Cody Jensen each had three goals for the Black Hawks and Chad Deunk and Geoff Tiffin each had two.
Brandon Lanz, Evan McLeod, Tyler Skanderup, Cole Smith and Tyler Smith had singles for Brooks.
Clayton Wiest had three goals for Lomond and Jaden Odland, Jeremy Kenyon and Rustin Murray had singles.
On Sunday the Black Hawks won 6-3 as Terry Chaffer scored twice and Cole Smith, Geoff Tiffin, Chad Deunk and Sheldon Wenzel added singles.
Chad Beagle scored twice for Lomond and Rustin Murray scored once.
Brooks travels to Lomond on Friday, March 4. The fourth game, if necessary, is Saturday, March 5 at Lomond with a fifth game tentatively set for Sunday, March 6 at Brooks.

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