In Erik Hudson’s debut behind the Idaho Falls Spud Kings’ bench, and, coincidentally, his birthday, his team lost 6-2 to the Ogden Mustangs.

This was the third straight game in which the Spud Kings took on the Mustangs. The Mustangs won all three games, outscoring the Spud Kings by a total of 15-4.

The Spud Kings are currently in the middle of a coaching change, announcing Thursday that they’d be moving on from former head coach Marty Quarters. Hudson is coaching this weekend as the team awaits the arrival of their new head coach, John Becanic.

Game summary

This 60-minute hockey game was decided over a span of three minutes and 50 seconds in the first period. The Mustang scored four goals during that stretch and never let their foot off the Spud Kings’ neck.

There’s something about the Spud Kings and scoring late in the second period against the Mustangs. Shawn Swavely opened the scoring for his team with just over two minutes left in the second period — the third time in the last two games that the Spud Kings have scored in the last three minutes of the second period.

Timothy Kim added a powerplay goal for the Spud Kings in the third period, but it was too little too late and they lost 6-2.

Nikita Volski

Although the Mustangs’ dominant start gave off the impression that they could have won with a shooter tutor strung across the net, Mustangs goaltender Nikita Volski played a major part in keeping his team in the game.

Nikita Volski had a big game for the Ogden Mustangs Friday.

Nikita Volski had a big game for the Ogden Mustangs Friday. Photo credit: Will Vasseur

Despite having NHL Central Scouting-ranked goaltender Vladislav Bryzgalov at their disposal, the Mustangs have ridden Volski’s hot streak throughout this three-game series with the Spud Kings. Volski managed a 1.33 goals against average and a 0.963% save percentage throughout the series, playing all 180 minutes.

Penalties and other extra-curricular activities

The referees had a busy night, handing out 79 minutes’ worth of penalties and a game misconduct.

Fresh off a two-game suspension, Spud Kings defenseman DJ MacLeish was thrown out of this game in the second period, receiving a 10-minute misconduct for unsportsmanlike conduct and a game misconduct for physical abuse of officials.

Later in the period, Spud Kings forward Landon Steffen got 10 minutes and a game misconduct for unsportsmanlike conduct. Mustangs forward Corson Maguire got the same penalties in the third period.

Autism awareness night

The Spud Kings hosted military appreciation night in their last home game, and the Mustangs held autism awareness night this game.

The Ogden Mustangs wore specialty jerseys in support of autism awareness Friday night.

The Ogden Mustangs wore specialty jerseys in support of autism awareness Friday night. Photo credit: Courtesy of Ogden Mustangs

Similar to the Spud Kings’ military appreciation night, the Mustangs wore specialty jerseys, which they auctioned off in support of Northern Utah Autism Program, an Ogden-based preschool program for children with autism spectrum disorder.

The jerseys featured an array of colored puzzle pieces, which comprised both the Mustangs’ logo on the front and the players’ names and numbers on the back. The puzzle piece represents the complexity and mystery of autism, while the rainbow represents the wide range of autism symbols, according to The Tree Top.

The Mustangs auctioned several of the jerseys to fans in the crowd during the intermissions, earning over $4,000 on the spot for the charity. The remainder of the jerseys are available for auction online until 9 p.m. Saturday.

What’s next?

The Spud Kings return home Saturday to face the Pueblo Bulls at Mountain America Center. Through seven games against the Bulls this year, the Spud Kings are 2-5-0.

A win Saturday would bring the Spud Kings within one point of the Bulls, who hold fourth place in the NCDC’s Mountain Division. The Spud Kings also have three games in hand on the Bulls, giving them even more runway to jump ahead in the standings.

Saturday’s game starts at 7:05 p.m. Tickets are available on the Spud Kings’ website and at the box office at Mountain America Center.