The New Mexico Ice Wolves opened the 2021-2022 season on a tear. The Ice Wolves went 3-1 in their first four games boasting the best start in franchise history. The Ice Wolves played in the NAHL Showcase in Blaine, Minnesota at the Schwan Super Rink. The team has 6 points through 4 games. The Ice Wolves are tied for the early lead in the South Division with the Amarillo Wranglers (3-1, 6pts.) and El Paso Rhinos (3-1, 6pts.).
The Ice Wolves started their season fast beating the Kenai River Brown Bears by a final score of 5-0. Nikolai Dulak got things started for the Ice Wolves scoring a goal in the first period and giving New Mexico an early lead. In the second period, it was JD Metz putting one in the back of the net and adding to the lead. The Ice Wolves came out strong in the third period getting a second goal from Dulak, followed by first of the season goals for Wilmer Svensson and Alex Gomez. Beni Halasz earned the shutout win in front of the net, and kept the Brown Bears frustrated throughout the day.
Game 2 got started just about 24 hours after the first, and the Ice Wolves battled the Northeast Generals from Attleboro, Massachusetts. No goals were scored in the first, and a General’s goal in the second gave the Ice Wolves a scare as they headed into the third period trailing 1-0. The scoring got started early in the third as Tony Leahy ripped his first goal of the season knotting the score 1-1. That goal got the train rolling as Dillan Bentley gave the Ice Wolves a 2-1 lead with a laser shot to score. The scoring frenzy continued when Jeff Hutchinson scored a goal from the Ice Wolves own zone and added to the lead. Through Owen Parker’s sticky hands, and some offensive fire power the Ice Wolves beat the Generals 3-1.
On day three of the showcase the Ice Wolves squared up against the Minot Minotauros from the Central Division. The Minotauros came out hot, and scored an early goal in the first. From that point on Ben Behrens put on a clinic, not allowing another goal the rest of the game. As the second period began, Will Howard handled the puck off the board behind the Ice Wolves goal, and fired one in to tie things up (his celebration was electric we must add). With Howard swinging the momentum, Dillan Bentley then scored his second of the season, and gave this Ice Wolves the 2-1 lead going into the final period. The third was scoreless for most of the period until Tony Leahy punched another one through the net (2nd of the season) and clinched the 3-1 win for New Mexico, who now had a franchise best 3-0 start to the season.
The showcase ended on Saturday, with the Ice Wolves playing the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks. The game started strong with a Tony Leahy goal in the first and an early lead. That would be all of the scoring for the Ice Wolves as the Jr. Hat Tricks would tie the game 1-1 in the second, and add 2 goals in the 3rd to defeat the Ice Wolves 3-1.
The Ice Wolves turned some heads in this showcase with strong defensive performances and goal scoring as they beat some quality teams. The team is excited for the upcoming season and is ready to play in front of the loudest fans in the NAHL, at Outpost Ice Arenas. The home opening weekend is October 15th-16th against the Corpus Christi Ice Rays. Tickets are still available for that weekend but moving fast. Be sure to get yours today at https://tickets.nmicewolves.com/
Come watch the Ice Wolves at The Coolest Place In Town™ as they open up divisional play and look to have the best season the franchise has seen!