No. 7 New Mexico Ice Wolves (1-11-0-1, 3pts) vs. No. 4 Shreveport Mudbugs (9-5, 18pts)
at Outpost Ice Arenas in Albuquerque, NM
Time: 7:30 p.m. (Friday) | 7:00 p.m. (Saturday)
What You Need to Know:
Season Series: 0-2
NMO: 6pts, Dominique (3g-3a) | SHV: 11pts, Miller (4g-7a)
HOME SWEET HOME:
This weekend the Ice Wolves will start their stretch of 11-straight home games. While they will see some familiar faces there will also be new ones as well. Two new teams the Ice Wolves will face during their five-week home stand are Fairbanks and Topeka. This weekend however starts with the Shreveport Mudbugs. The last time these two teams met was the very first games of the season for both squads. New Mexico is coming off their first ever win franchise history after beating the Jackalopes, 4-3. The Ice Wolves will look to use their momentum from last weekend to get their first win on home ice.
In the Ice Wolves first-ever win they managed to score three special team’s goals. Two of which came while shorthanded. Both teams are no strangers to sending players to the penalty box as they are both in the top three for penalty minutes in the South Division. Shreveport is second in the league with 277PIM. While it has been awhile since these two teams saw one another, they do not forget faces. Both games will be physical and require a lot of discipline to keep five skaters out on the ice.
A big key to success is having a solid defense. While the Ice Wolves came into the league as the youngest team with an average age of 18.35-years-old, but they have significantly improved on the back end since day one. They have been consistently getting into shooting lanes and winning board battles deep in their own zone. This has resulted in getting the puck into the offensive zone and having the forwards take a plethora of shots. The Mudbugs put up 40+ shots each night the last time these two squared off against each other. If the Ice Wolves are able to keep the shots away from their netminder and clear their zone successfully they will have a great chance at their first ever weekend sweep.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Ice Wolves (F: #21 – Alex Dominique)
The Mississauga, Ontario native is playing in his first NAHL season and is currently leading the team in points (3g-3a). Alex was one of four players to score for the Ice Wolves this past Saturday in Odessa, TX. His amazing power-play goal wound up #4 on NAHL “Plays of the Week”. Dominique has been finding his stride as of late, scoring two goals in the span of three games. Just two years ago Alex was named All-American Forward of the AYHL 16U league after putting up 36 points in 21 games (13g-23a) with the New Jersey Avalanche (16U). Last season he played for them at the AYHL 18U (9g-15a) and T1EHL U18 (14g-8a) level. Alex is very familiar with hardware after winning three championships in the span of two years. The 18-year-old will be relied on heavily this weekend against Shreveport. Look for him to use his legs to beat the defense and drive towards the net.
Mudbugs (F: #8 – Jacob Smith)
This may be Jacob’s first season in the NAHL, but he has been off to a great start as he sits in second place on his team in points (3g-4a). The last time Smith played the Ice Wolves, he was able to score two of the six goals for Shreveport during game two. Since that game, Smith has only managed to find the back of the net once. Although he has only scored in two games both ended up being game winners. The Anchorage, AK native spent last season playing only seven games with the Rockland Nationals (CCHL). Prior to that he played 50 games (1g-7a) for the Navan Grads of the CCHL. The 20-year-old has the second-best shooting percentage on the team at 20%.