Series Preview: Lake Tahoe Icemen vs Utah Outliers at Utah

This weekend the Icemen head to Accord Ice Arena in West Valley City, Utah to face off against the Utah Outliers.  This will be the first match-up this season between the Tahoe Icemen of the Northwest Division and the Utah Outliers of the Mountain Division, and is the only scheduled meet up in the regular season.  There may be no recourse or rematch for the team that comes out empty handed.  When asked about the upcoming series, Icemen Head Coach Mickey Lang said, “In order for the Icemen to have success they need to play the full three periods.  Right now, we’ve blown four games with the lead going into the third.”

Overview

The Tahoe Icemen arrive in Utah with a 5-6-1 record in away games.  They have 29 points in 24 games this season.  The Icemen have 110 goals for, 93 goals against, and a 23% success rate on the powerplay.  They have an 84% success rate on the penalty kill.  They are currently second in the Northwest Division and sit behind 8 teams out of 23 overall in the league.  They are coming off of a three-game win in their last series in Washington against the Bellingham Blazers.  Tahoe is second in the league with a staggering 675 penalty minutes, but they’re going to have to stay out of the box on this one.  One of Tahoe’s strengths has been scoring, even with few shots on net.  The Ogden Mustangs were able to shut down the Outliers in one of their games, but they couldn’t shut Tahoe out.  Likewise, the Icecats, undefeated this season, have 18 goals against in total and 9 were scored by the Icemen.  If Tahoe can keep the shots heavy, they’re likely to get on the board.

The Utah Outliers are 7-0-0 at home this season.  They have 30 points in 20 games.  The Outliers have 98 goals for, only 34 goals against, and a 21% success rate on the powerplay.  They have a near perfect 92% success rate on the penalty kill.  They are currently third place in the Mountain Division and tied for 7th place overall out of 23 teams.  The Outliers only have 338 penalty minutes this season.  Tahoe will be hard pressed to draw them into any short-handed plays.

Goaltending

The Icemen have three goalies.  Wade Conlan (1) has a 0.922 save percentage in 17 games.  Thomas Spero (29) has a 0.912 save percentage in 16 games.  Maximilian Haselbacher (30) of Austria has one assist and a 0.873 save percentage in 16 games.

The Utah Outliers have two goalies on their roster.  Dawson Rodin (1) has one assist and a 0.946 save percentage in 18 games played.  Otto Saxin (35) has a 0.967 save percentage in 19 games played.

Point leaders

Icemen forward Paul Frys (14) leads his team with 45 points in 24 games (21 goals and 24 assists).  He is currently on a three-game point streak, collecting 8 points (5 goals, 3 assists) in those games.

Outliers’ defensemen Zach Hoffman (3) of Canada leads his team with 32 points in 18 games (12 goals and 20 assists).  He had an assist in his last game, but did not score in two previous games.

Predictions

Tahoe takes home at least one win, marring the Outliers perfect record at home.

If you’d like up-to-the-minute score updates on these games, log onto www.wshlstats.com/live_scoreboard.php

Puck drops Friday at 7pm.  Saturday at 6:30pm, and Sunday at noon.  Utah is one hour ahead of Tahoe.

The next home series for the Tahoe Icemen against the Idaho Icecats will be Thursday, Dec 14 at 7pm, Friday, Dec 15 at 7pm and Saturday, Dec 16 – please check tahoearena.co for game time.

By Harper Dial

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