Weekend with the Warriors
Albuquerque, NM- In a weekend celebrating Dia de los Muertos, Mitch Becker’s 100th game in an Ice Wolves sweater, and a huge announcement scheduled for Saturday night. The Ice Wolves welcomed the Wichita Falls Warriors inside the Outpost Ice Arenas for the first matchup of the season.
A penalty just 8 seconds into the game saw the Ice Wolves down a man however, that did not stop the offensive production as JD Metz scored the second shorthanded goal of the season for the Ice Wolves just 1:16 into the first period. William Lawson-Body responded and tied the game for the Warriors 7 minutes later.
In the second period JD Metz would net his second goal of the game thanks to an assist from Jake Keller for a 2-1 lead. Dillan Bentley would capitalize on a turnover in the offensive zone and score his team leading 7th goal to make the Ice Wolves advantage two. Riley Brueck had an answer of his own just 47 seconds later and bring the game within one once again. 55 seconds later Liam Guerin scoring his first NAHL goal thanks to a bank shot off of the goalie’s helmet gave the Ice Wolves a two goal advantage once again and the second period would end 4-2.
In the third period just before the halfway mark Will Howard would extend the Ice Wolves lead to 5-2. The Warriors would pull their goalie with over three minutes remaining in regulation in attempt to battle back, instead it was Alex Gomez scoring an empty net goal in what was “the slowest goal I’ve ever scored.” said the Ice Wolves forward after the game. The final score from Friday night’s game 6-2 Ice Wolves.
Beni Halasz was his normal self, making 31 saves on 33 shots earning his 4th straight win after having last weekend off.
Saturday night the celebration continued, and the Ice Wolves hoped to continue their franchise long 5 game point streak. Before any scoring could take place, a groundbreaking announcement was made. The US Women’s National team will be participating in high altitude training at the Outpost Ice Arenas next weekend. Included in that training will be two scrimmages against the Ice Wolves after both games will be a 5 minute 3 on 3 overtime period as well as a shootout regardless of the outcome both nights.
After that announcement was made Dillan Bentley would cash in a one timer on the Watt Electric LLC. Power play and give the Ice Wolves a 1-0 lead to end the first period.
The second period saw Drew Vieten score a power play goal for the Warriors and tied the game at 1 a piece. During the second period Owen Parker would make his presence known and make on incredible save after another and keep this game tied at 1. Wilmer Svensson would score in his return to the lineup and give the Ice Wolves another lead. The lead would only last for three minutes when Ryan Robinson would tie it back up at 2 as the second period would end.
Heading into the third period tied at two, Max Dronen would score his first NAHL goal and give the Warriors their first lead of the weekend. Brayden Ring, just past the halfway point in the third period, would find the equalizer for the Ice Wolves. The Warriors would get extremely aggressive on their offensive attack and finally Carter Korpi was able to sneak one past Parker and give the Warriors a 4-3 lead. The Ice Wolves pulled their goalie in hopes for some late game heroics, unfortunately, it was William Lawson Body scoring into the empty net earning a split of the weekend series.
The Ice Wolves will be back next weekend with games against the Corpus Christi Icerays Friday and Saturday night, Amarillo Wranglers on Sunday, and the US Women on Monday and Tuesday.