Hometown hockey people walk by it every day – the hidden trophy inside the SoBe Ice Arena lobby area. When you walk through the glass rink doors, look to your right where there is a large trophy case. On the lower level, in the center, is a large brown mountain-like trophy. For those who played in this historic game – and those Las Vegas fans who were there – beating dynasty Shattuck St. Mary’s in an AA 18u midget level game at that time was unforgettable. Rob Pallin was head coach of our Mustangs. Our hometown scorekeeper Dan Shiode could hardly speak when he shouted in the statistics on that incredible freezing-cold day.

December 9, 2001
It’s Las Vegas vs. Arvada For the Silver Sticks ‘Gold’

By Lee Samuels

Westminster, Colorado — The first reaction was bleacher shock, then lots of hugging and high-fiving. Team captain and the heart of the AA Las Vegas Mustangs, center Josh Jasek, slammed in a super-clutch shot with 0:47 left lifting Rob Pallin’s Las Vegas skaters to a stunning 3-2 win over Shattuck St. Mary’s of Minnesota on Sunday morning.

“There was a celebration that I’ve never seen before in our bleachers,” said Las Vegas Mustangs stat-keeper Dan Shiode. “Lots of embracing, some of our parents even wept. I’m not sure who was hugging who, but a lot of it was going on. And you should have seen our players on the ice…

It was by far the biggest win in club history, which also sent the 31-3-2 Rob Pallin-coached Mustangs 18-and-under midget ice team to the Silver Sticks championship game.

And as good as Shattuck was, three-time defending champion Arvada is even better. Arvada is regarded as the top Tier II in the nation.

The Mustangs square off vs. Arvada today at 3:20 p.m. in the gold medal game at the Promenade Ice Center.

The win over Shattuck was a super-sweet one, for many reasons. Coach Pallin grew up in Minnesota, playing hockey as a schoolboy on elite travel teams which had games in “cold barns” as he called those rinks.

Also, Mustangs defenseman Justin Johnson and goalie Paul Lowden played in the Shattuck system last winter. Johnson was a skater on this very same team. Lowden was a goalie on a different Shattuck team.

And, Shattuck didn’t exactly welcome Johnson back onto the ice either.

He was immediately roughed up by Shattuck enforcers, with finally a penalty being called against Shattuck midway through the first period.

That resulted in a power play goal from Adam Naglich, with assists from Jasek and Johnson at 8:20 of the first.

Naglich scored again, this time from Jasek and Eddie Samuels with 6:21 to play in the first.

That made it 2-0, Las Vegas. Shattuck stormed back, scored twice and as stat-keeper Dan Shiode described the third period “as swinging back and forth…..I don’t think anyone knew what was going to happen.

In the final minute, Naglich made a rush, spotted Jasek in the slot area and ripped a pass.

There, history was made…..Jasek fired in a wrist shot for the dramatic game-winning goal.

Lowden, who hasn’t lost a game this season (9-0-1), got the win in the net.

It was also Las Vegas’ 10th straight win, tying a club record.

Tonight, goalie Cody Fulwiler (22-3-1, 1.20) gets the call against Arvada.

Shattuck St. Mary’s, Minnesota 1 1 0 – 2
Las Vegas Mustangs (31-3-2) 2 0 1 – 3
LV-Adam Naglich (Josh Jasek, Justin Johnson)
LV-Adam Naglich (Josh Jasek, Eddie Samuels)
LV-Josh Jasek (Adam Naglich)
Shots – Shattuck 24-21 Goalie — Paul Lowden, 9-0-1.

Weekend final scores
AA Silver Sticks
Arvada 7, Pikes Peak Jr. Tigers 2 
Las Vegas Mustangs 3, Shattuck St. Mary’s 2

AA Midgets
Phoenix Firebirds 6, San Jose Jr. Sharks 5

From the Blue Line, Lee