The fact it came in the gold medal final of the Sask Lacrosse provincial championship was just the icing on the cake -- and unfortunately for the local squad, one team had to lose.
The Mustangs ended up settling for a silver medal after falling 9-8 in a shootout at the seven-team event in Saskatoon, capping an impressive weekend that saw Moose Jaw pick up a pair of commanding wins leading up to the title game -- 8-3 over the Regina Raiders and 12-0 over the Regina Hawks.
Rush 9, Mustangs 8
In one of the most back-and-forth contests in recent memory, neither team led by more than a goal at any point in the game.
Moose Jaw’s Kashton Smith -- who would go on to be named a tournament all-star -- scored a go-ahead marker with 4:28 remaining, but the Rush tied things 57 seconds later and took an 8-7 lead only 47 seconds after that goal.
That set the stage for Vincent Griffiths -- one of eight pick-ups from the Swift Current Rampage -- to play regulation time hero, as he tied the game with 43 seconds to play.
Overtime solved nothing; Saskatoon scored on all three of their shootout shots, Moose Jaw on two of three, and the Rush claimed gold.
Griffiths and fellow Rampage standout Chayse Shafer scored twice each and added an assist for Moose Jaw, while Smith also had a pair of goals. Jett Wallace (Swift Current) had a goal and an assist, Aiden McGillvary had the Mustangs’ other marker. Hayden Nidesh had two assists.
Mustangs 12, Hawks 0
There were no such dramatics in the Mustangs’ final round robin game, as they led 4-0 after the first and 9-0 through two.
Schafer had three goals and five points to lead Moose Jaw, while Smith and Cooper Fulton had two goals and a assist each. Nidesh and Chase Folk picked up a goal and two assists apiece; Wallace, Griffiths and Diezel Palhus (Swift Current) all had single markers. Kysen Mac Angus added two assists.
Mustangs 8, Raiders 3
Moose Jaw found themselves tied 3-3 through two periods but poured on the offence in the third to take the comfortable victory.
Smith got his tournament off to a solid start with three goals and six points, Folk scored twice. Fulton, Wallace and Paulhus had their other markers, while Nidesh had three assists.
Smith finished third in tournament scoring with seven goals and 11 points despite playing a game less than the leaders, Schafer was sixth with five goals and eight points, Nidesh seventh with a goal and eight points.