Series Preview: Lake Tahoe Icemen versus Seattle Totems at Seattle
December was a difficult month for the Icemen, yielding only two wins in nine games. Coach Mickey Lang was optimistic looking forward, “we’re a second half [of the season] team.” And Coach Lang has reason to be optimistic with the new addition to the Icemen, former Seattle Totem forward, Mitch Hunt. Hunt has 21 points in 22 games this season and is excited about joining the Icemen and facing his old team again in Seattle, “It’ll be nice to see friends and family again so soon, but it’ll be weird walking in a different door. Hopefully I have a bit of an advantage, knowing what they’ll be doing before the game. I’m thankful I found a team that wanted to bring me in, and hopefully we push for a trophy.” Let’s hope Hunt won’t have any issues scoring against his old team.
The Icemen head to Seattle with a 5-10-1 record in away games this season. They have 33 points in 33 games. The Icemen have 137 goals for, 150 goals against, and a 21% success rate on the powerplay. They have a 78% success rate on the penalty kill. The Icemen are currently ranked 3rd in the Northwest Division.
The Seattle Totems are 2-9-2 at home this season, with 23 points in 30 games this season. The Totems have 97 goals for, 174 goals against, and an 18% success rate on the powerplay. The Totems edge the Icemen out on the penalty kill, with an 80% success rate. The Totems are currently ranked 5th in the Northwest Division.
The Icemen have four goalies on their roster. Wade Conlan (1) has a .903 save percentage in 23 games played. Thomas Spero (29) has a .889 save percentage in 20 games played. Maximilian Haselbacher (30) has a .90 save percentage and one assist in 23 games played, and Lanny Blitt (_) has a .869 save percentage in 3 games played. While the Icemen may need to make a decision about carrying four goaltenders at some point, for now Coach Mickey has quite a selection.
The Totems have three goalies, none with a save average over .9. Garrett Willis (1) has a .852 save percentage and one assist in 16 games played. Naoki Onodera (30) has a .864 save percentage in 27 games played. Wyatt Monear (35) has a .859 save percentage in 9 games played.
After a sweep in Tahoe earlier this season and taking into account the Totem’s home record, Seattle won’t be able to hold onto any points at home. Tahoe will take home the much needed six points, and Paul Frys (14) will extend his scoring streak to 15 games.
Tahoe’s next home series is the January 25-27, 2018 against the Long Beach Bombers, and will be the first and only meet-up in the regular season. The Bombers are ranked first in the Western Division and will be a difficult opponent, having already collected 47 points in 31 games this season. They have a 7-4-1 record on the road. Hopefully a sweep in Seattle will boost the Icemen’s confidence heading into a home series.
By Harper Dial
Photo by Chris Neely