Photo by Chris Neely
Photo by Chris Neely

Series Recap: Lake Tahoe Icemen vs Utah Outliers at Utah

Tahoe ended their three-game win streak in Utah.  Though the Icemen weren’t able to take any points from Utah this past weekend, it was still an exciting series.  A fight Saturday night led to two Icemen goalies leaving the pads behind and skating out on Sunday.  The Outliers, averaging only 17 minutes in penalties per game prior to facing the Icemen, took a whopping 101 minutes in penalties during the series.  Paul Frys was able to extend his scoring streak to six games, netting seven points (3 goals, 4 assists) during the series.

Friday  12/1/17    9 – 2 Utah Outliers

The Icemen kept up with the Outliers until halfway through the second, keeping the score tied 2 – 2.  The game winner went to Utah’s Dylan Massie (16) at 8:10 in the second, followed by two more unanswered Outlier goals.  The third period found a tired Icemen bench and four more unanswered goals for the Outliers.  Referee Serena didn’t call many penalties, 6 minutes in minors for the home team, and 15 minutes for the visiting Icemen, including a 5-minute slashing penalty for Phil Heisse III (22).  Outlier’s goaltender Saxin (35) allowed 2 goals on only 10 shots, not facing a single shot in the third.  Icemen goalie Wade Conlan (1) faced 23 shots in the first two periods, but was relieved by Maximilian Haselbacher (30) in the third.  Haselbacher made 16 saves on 20 shots in the third after coming in cold.

Saturday  12/2/17    8 – 2 Utah Outliers

Saturday was a rough one both literally and figuratively.  The Outliers struck first, and the Icemen didn’t answer back until they were two goals down.  Utah would score another before the end of the period.  The game winner went to Gianni Vitali (26) at 3:52 in the first.  Outlier’s Jacob Wanstrom (4) had a natural hat-trick in the second, with 4 goals overall.  Referee Burkart handed out 7 minutes in penalties and an ejection to Outlier’s Alex McCloskey (20) for fighting with :42 left in the first, but it wouldn’t end there.  At the end of the second at least eight players were involved in a massive fight that resulted in an injury to Utah’s Wanstrom (4).  Four players from Tahoe and another four from Utah would be unavailable for Sunday’s game, shortening Tahoe’s already limited bench.  All told the Icemen had 70 minutes in penalties including four 5-minute majors, the Outliers 79 including five 5-minute majors.  The Outlier’s goaltender Dawson Rodin (1) allowed 2 goals on 23 shots.  Maximilian Haselbacher (30) made 36 saves on 42 shots and was relieved by Thomas Spero (29) in the third.  Spero made 13 saves on 15 shots.

Sunday  12/3/17    8 – 4 Utah Outliers

Sunday found the Icemen with a very short bench.  Goaltender Wade Conlan (1) took the net with goalies Thomas Spero (29) and Maximilian Haselbacher (30) opting to skate out, still leaving Tahoe with less than three full lines.  Tahoe found some success, landing the first goal of the game and scoring 4 goals on only 17 shots against Utah’s Otto Saxin (35), but it wasn’t enough to prevail against the Outliers.  After two quick goals from Tahoe, the game was tied 3 – 3 in the second, but the tie would only last 2:01.  The game winner went to Utah’s Dylan Massie (16) at 5:33 in the second.  After that, Outlier’s Kane Toriumi (17) would score a natural hat-trick beginning in the second and carrying over into the third.  Referee Serena was back Sunday, calling only minor penalties to both teams.  Tahoe had 14 minutes in penalties, Utah with 16 minutes.  Conlan (1) made 49 saves on 56 shots.  Spero came in with under three minutes left in the third and made one save.  The final goal was scored by Utah on an empty net.

Goaltender Tommy Spero (29) who played defense for two periods in Sunday’s game had this to say, “This past weekend we were swept by the Utah Outliers.  The sweep didn’t show how we played though, we played hard and with heart but fell short in all the games.  It will be a great learning experience for the coming weeks.  We were down guys all weekend, especially after the brawl Saturday night, which forced some last-minute decisions to try and secure a win.  Nevertheless, we’ll bounce back from this.  Idaho is our next opponent and we’re already preparing for them.”

Tahoe’s next match-up is at home against the Idaho Icecats, who are currently ranked 1st in the Northwest division.  This will be an exciting series at the Tahoe Ice Arena on Rufus Allen in South Lake Tahoe.  Normally games are played Friday through Sunday, but this series runs Thursday through Saturday night, all games start at 7pm.

By Harper Dial