No. 7 New Mexico Ice Wolves (5-24-0-2, 12pts) vs. No. 2 Amarillo Bulls (21-5-1-2, 45pts)
at Outpost Ice Arenas in Albuquerque, NM
Time: 7:30 p.m. MST (Friday) | 7:00 p.m. MST (Saturday)
What You Need to Know:
Season Series: 1-4
NMO: 13pts, Rudrud/Dominique (5g-8a) | AMA: 31pts, Allen (13g-18a)
WE MEET AGAIN:
For the second straight weekend the Ice Wolves will face the Bulls. Last weekend they played a 3-in-3 series in Amarillo, Texas. A weekend that saw three close games but also no goals for New Mexico. It marked the first time since Oct. 4-5 (vs. Lone Star) that the Ice Wolves were held off the scoreboard for an entire weekend. A large reason why it is difficult to score on Amarillo is because they lead the league in fewest shots allowed (679). Not only are they good at limiting shots while on even strength but also while they are on the penalty kill. New Mexico had 13 power plays over the weekend and Amarillo killed off every one. Moving them into first place in the league in penalty-kill percentage (93.2%).
The Ice Wolves are officially in the second half of their inaugural season. While they did not have the start they certainly wanted to have, there is still plenty of time to string along some wins. The team has gotten better with each passing day and they had not one, not two, but three nail-biter games this past weekend against one of the best teams in the league. As the calendar year is coming to a close with just three games left in 2019 for New Mexico it would be a tremendous confidence boost for the team if they are able to start the new year on a three-game win streak.
There are currently four players on the Ice Wolves roster that have played in all 31 games this season (Dominique, Sanom, Holt, and McCosh). Doing so takes a tremendous amount of strain on the body and a lot of consistent preparation. As the team heads into the holiday break, these four players will certainly use it to recharge their bodies and get ready for the tail end of the season. There are still 29 games to be played this season for the Ice Wolves and if these four players can continue to lace them up for the rest of the way it would be a tremendous feat.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Ice Wolves (G: #35 – Garrett Mackay)
This past Saturday marked the first NAHL game for the Minneapolis, MN native since 10/13/17. Since then he has been with the Madison Capitols (USHL). Last season the 6’0” 162 pound goalie played 20 games for them (6-3-4-1, 3.96GAA, .880SV%). This season he played eight games for them (0-4-1, 5.73GAA, .852SV%). Prior to his junior career, Mackay spent two seasons playing for Edina High (USHS-MN) totaling 44 games. In his first game with the Ice Wolves he stopped 35 shots and allowed only two goals.
Bulls (D: #8 – Adam Kolcon)
The Air Force Academy commit is currently in his first season in the NAHL. He started this year playing 22 games for the Johnstown Tomahawks (8a). The 19-year-old has now played 11 games for the Bulls (2g-5a) and is currently eighth on the team in points. Last season Kolcon played for the Camrose Kodiaks (15gp-4g-3a) and the Olds Grizzlys (34gp-3g-14a) in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL). In 2015-16 while with the Rochester Jr. Americans, he was awarded the USPHL 16U Most Points by Defenseman (25). The 6’1” 185 pound defenseman was drafted #113 overall by the Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL) in 2019. Out of the five games played between the Bulls and the Ice Wolves, Kolcon has recorded two points (1g-1a).