Earlier tonight the Ice Wolves faced off against the Pilots to end the weekend series. The previous night Topeka shutout New Mexico, 3-0. The Ice Wolves were looking to get back on track tonight and split the weekend against the third best team from the South Division. New Mexico entered tonight’s game leading the season series, 3-2.
In the opening period the Ice Wolves started out very well as they pressured Guy Blessing from all angles. Although none of their 16 shots were able to find the back of the net. As for the Pilots, they were able to convert twice on only nine shots in the first period. Their first goal came off the stick of Connor Zilisch (15) after he was fed a long stretch pass from Michael Muschitiello. Later in the period, Matt Clark (6) wristed one past the left arm of Henrik Laursen, making it 2-0 Pilots after the first.
The Pilots increased their lead to three as Nick Nardecchia (10) scored 7:40 into the middle period. The Ice Wolves were determined to not have a repeat of last night. After winning an offensive zone draw, Sean Henry took a shot from the left point that was deflected out of midair by Alex Dominique (11). Unfortunately, Topeka answered right back with a goal of their own not even a minute later. Giving the Pilots a 4-1 leading heading into the locker room after two periods. The Ice Wolves were outshooting the Pilots, 31-21.
In the final period of regulation there was only one goal scored, and it did not come until the final seconds of the game. The captain of Topeka, Austin McCarthy (16), scored a power-play goal from the left circle that just missed Laursen’s right pad. The Ice Wolves finished the game with 39 shots and held the Pilots to 28.
There was a combined 74 penalty minutes throughout tonight’s game. Making the final meeting between these two teams, games you will not want to miss. Those games will take place on Apr. 3-4 in Topeka, KS. It will also be the final two games of the regular season for both clubs. The Ice Wolves will close out their season series with the Lone Star Brahmas next weekend in Forth Worth, TX. New Mexico now has a record of 12-31-2-3 (29PTS) and they are still eight points behind Corpus Christi, who they will see on Mar. 6-7 at the Outpost Ice Arenas.