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Mustangs corral Mariners, 24-2, in season opener Phillip Brents | Fri, Dec 10 2010 03:12 PM

Otay Ranch head coach Adrian Rodriguez has one goal each season: to teach what he terms “the five Ps.”

“My whole motto is to teach the kids to have poise and patience, teach them puck-handling and passing and to be physical within the rules of the game,” he said.

Braced by nine newcomers, Rodriguez estimated his team was about 70 percent of the way toward where it needs to be. “We have a lot of practices yet to do to get those things down, but one thing I can tell you about this team is that it has heart. We’ll be there in the long run.”

The short run hasn’t been bad. The Mustangs faced off the 2010-11 CIF/Metro Conference season with a 24-2 non-league victory against the Mar Vista Mariners on Tuesday at Skate San Diego in National City and fluttered more than a few hearts in an 8-7 non-league loss to the Scripps Ranch Falcons on Wednesday at the same venue.

Tuesday’s game against a young and inexperienced Mar Vista team proved to be an up-and-down affair, with fans of both teams airing out their lungs in anticipation of the new season. But it was Otay Ranch that made the most plays, particularly in putting the puck between the pipes.

Returner Ryan Trego led the Mustang scoring parade with 10 goals and five assists while junior team captain Jonathan Managbanag racked up nine goals and three assists.

Newcomer Cole Beatie made an impressive debut with three goals while Jason Albano and Tyler Hawkins each were credited with one goal.

Trego and Managbanag, along with Jeremiah Jodzio and Maddie Melendez, are being counted on as the team’s returning leadership.

Melendez will share goaltending duties with newcomer Gabe Beatie, who brings seven years of ice hockey experience to the playing court.

The new Otay Ranch netminder displayed all his skills in Wednesday’s contest by keeping his team within reach on the scoreboard to mount a late comeback. The Mustangs trailed 3-1 after the first period and 5-2 at halftime before piling up five third period goals.

The game was tied 7-7 with 1:42 to play. Gabe Beatie had 30 saves in the game.

“Our plan was to get them tired in the third period,” Rodriguez said. “We knew they were short on players. We were down three goals entering the third period. We were tired but not as much as they were. The third period was ours.”

Cole Beatie’s goal made it a 7-6 game with 1:49 left in the game and Jodzio scored off the ensuing face-off just seven seconds later to knot the teams at seven goals apiece.

The last minute of the game was frantic, with each team possessing a short power play. In the end, the Falcons proved one rush better as Connor Kelleher scored with 52 seconds to play to keep Scripps Ranch unbeaten at 2-0 to start the season.

Trego led Otay Ranch with two goals and two assists while Cole Beatie collected three points on two goals and one assist and Managbanag had a goal and assist. Joey Parisi also had one goal.

Kelehher and Jonathan Gauthier paced Scripps Ranch — 14-2 winners over La Jolla Country Day on Monday — with three goals and one assist each while Brandon Lopez picked up a goal and an assist and Connor Daniel scored once. Lopez assisted on the game-winning goal.

Rodriguez called the loss to the Falcons a “moral victory.”

“A lot of teams should watch out for us — they know where we stand now,” he said. “Every one of our kids has heart and talent and showed it.”

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