Mustangs Sweep Cyclones, Punch Playoff Ticket

Photo Credit: Noah Markuna

Ambroffi, Yamada strong in net, Polistina OT hero

Wausau, WI – The Peoria Mustangs made their final road trip to Wausau, WI this past weekend with a playoff bid in mind and completed the weekend sweep punching that playoff ticket. Saturday night Peoria collected two goals in the first 5 minutes of action and never looked back as SP Merck netted the game winner just 54 seconds into the middle period. Saturday night the Mustangs and Cyclones entered a goaltending duel that saw Kason Yamada collect the victory in just 1:16 into the overtime session when Massimo Polistina netted the game winner. With the pair of victories, the Mustangs improve to 22-15-2 and officially lock the Cyclones out of the NA3HL Fraser Cup Playoffs.

Friday: PEO 6 – WAU 2

Friday night the Mustangs wasted no time with a pair of goals in the opening 5 minutes of the contest and Joe Ambroffi locked the door as the Mustangs cruised to a 6-2 victory at the Marathon County Ice Arena. Peoria got goals from five different skaters and a pair of goals late in the third period to break a 5-game losing streak.

The Mustangs opened the scoring just 2:50 into the contest when Tristan Trudel collected the puck atop the crease and stuffed the puck past Ryan Burke and into the back of the net for the quick 1-0 Mustangs advantage.

Peoria doubled their lead just minutes later when Trudel, again collected a rebound off a shot from newcomer Ethan Peterson, and jammed the puck past Burke, into the back of the net for the 2-0 Mustangs edge at 5:16 of the first period.

Peoria got the eventual game winner just 54 seconds into the middle frame when SP Merck took a feed from Jaycob Bland and tiptoed the blue line in the Cyclones zone. Merck worked to the high slot and snapped a shot on goal that whizzed through traffic, sailed past Burke and into the back of the net for the 3-0 Mustangs lead at :54 of the second period.

Ethan Chesney added a second period tally for the Mustangs just prior to the midway point of the contest for a 4-0 Mustangs lead. It was E. Chesney’s 25th goal of the campaign.

The Cyclones finally broke into the scoring column late in the second period when Isaac Baker connected just seconds into a power play making it a 4-1 contest at the 16:08 mark of the second period.

The Cyclones drew within a pair just past the midway point of the final period when Adam Wiggins netted his 7th goal of the season while the hosts were skating on the man advantage making it a 4-2 contest.

Peoria added a pair of insurance tallies in the final frame, the first coming off the stick of Ethan Peterson, his 7th of the season and first in a Mustangs uniform and a 5-1 Mustangs lead with 6:26 to go in regulation. Johnny Switzer added the cherry on top, netting his 2nd of the season for the eventual 6-2 final score.

Joe Ambroffi earned the victory between the pipes stopping 27 of 29 shots faced in the contest. With the win, the Plainfield, IL native improves to 10-2-0 on the season.

Saturday: PEO 2 – WAU 1 (OT)

Saturday night the Mustangs fell behind on a second period goal and eventually tied the contest in the third period before Massimo Polistina connected on the game winner in overtime. Kason Yamada shut down a late surge from Wausau as the Mustangs rode out of Wisconsin on the heels of a 2-1 overtime victory.

After a scoreless opening period, the Cyclones opened the scoring early in the middle period when Matthew Witt blasted the puck past Yamada and into the back of the net for a power play tally and a 1-0 Cyclones edge at 1:56 of the second period.

The Mustangs eventually tied the game just past the midway point of the third period when Ethan Chesney and Sam Truxaw raced into their attacking zone. E. Chesney raced through the right circle and snapped the puck on net, Truxaw raced towards the goalmouth and tipped the puck past Cyclones netminder Collin Lemanski and into the back of the net at 11:29 of the third period and a 1-1 score.

Peoria received the game winner just 1:16 into the overtime session. SP Merck collected the puck in the neutral zone and danced into the attacking end, Massimo Polistina raced from the Mustangs bench and Merck fed a pass across the low slot to Polistina who promptly deposited the puck into the back of the net and the 2-1 overtime winner.

Kason Yamada earned the win between the pipes for the Mustangs, turning aside 33 of 34 shots faced in the contest. With the win, the Bloomington, IL native improves to 6-1-0 on the season.

Stable Notes:

– With the pair of victories, the Mustangs mathematically eliminated the Cyclones from playoff contention.

– Kason Yamada has played 121:16 head-to-head against Wausau and has stopped 61 of 62 shots faced. Yamada held the Cyclones scoreless for 81:56 in his duo of starts vs. the Cyclones.

– Sam Truxaw Collected his first career NA3HL goal in Saturday night’s win.

– The tandem of Joe Ambroffi and Kason Yamada combined for a total of 60 saves on 63 shots faced on the weekend.

– Chris Kondiles silently collected 3 assists in Friday night’s victory.

 – Newcomer Ethan Peterson had a goal and assist in his Mustangs debut Friday night, he assisted on the game’s opening goal and tallied an insurance goal in the 3rd period.

What’s Ahead:

The Mustangs return home for a pair of games with the Milwaukee Power at the Owens Center Friday February 10th and Saturday February 11th. Both games are part of Alzheimer’s awareness weekend where the team will wear specialty Alzheimer’s themed jerseys to be auctioned off online. You can bid on the jerseys at If you can’t make it out to the Owens Center you can catch all of the action live on HockeyTV or by following along on Mustangs social media.