Wenatchee, WA – The Wenatchee Wolves hosted the Tri-City Outlaws to kick off the Northern Pacific Hockey League’s 2016 playoffs. About two and half minutes into the first period, the Wolves were able to strike first against the Outlaws. Hunter Alden found the back of the net for the first goal in the league’s playoffs. As the period continued, the Wolves scored one more goal. These two goals put the Wolves up 2 – 0, over the Outlaws, by the end of the first period.
As both teams hit the ice for the second period, neither team could score during the first half of the period. But with about eight and half minutes to go before the second intermission, the Wolves scored the team’s third goal of the night. Less than a minute later, the Outlaws broke the team’s offensive silence when Adam Shimamoto beat the Wolves’ goalie, Max Flynn, for the goal. Both of these teams continued to go back and forth until the end of the period. When the horn sounded to end the second period, the Wolves pushed the team’s lead to 4 – 2.
After starting the third period with a two goal lead, the Wolves exploded out of the gate as the team went on to score five goals during the final period. As the Wolves’ offense scored five goals, the Wolves’ defense held the Outlaws to a single goal. This five-goal period by the Wolves pushed the team to a 9 – 2 victory over the Outlaws.
Ryan McKelvie, the Wolves’ head coach, commented on tonight’s game. McKelvie said, “we did a lot of things well tonight, especially early on in the game. Although, I'd like to see us a little bit better defensively late in the game.”
Geno McCue, the Outlaws’ head coach, also discussed tonight’s game. McCue said, “we had the one goal of staying out of the penalty box and we didn’t succeed at that. When you’re in the box that often, it’s hard to get any flow going. The boys played hard, and I have no problem with what they gave me. We just have to be smarter and take care of business.”
The Wolves (1-0-0, 2 points) will hit the road tomorrow to travel to the Toyota Arena in Kennewick, Washington, as the Outlaws (0-1-0, 0 points) welcome them into town. Game time is scheduled for 2:35 pm (PST).
(WEN) Griffin Wiencek (F) – two goals and one assist
(WEN) Jonathan Banovetz (D) – stout defensive play and two assists
Bellingham, WA – The Bellingham Blazers and Eugene Generals clashed on the ice tonight to begin the teams’ best of five series. As the puck dropped to begin play, the Blazers went on to score two back-to-back goals during the first half of the first period. On these goals, Brett Hanson and Mark Klasen both scored. But shortly after the Blazers’ second goal, the Generals were able to score their first goal of the night. As the period began to wind down, Hanson scored his second goal for the Blazers, thus capping off the scoring for the first period.
During the second period, both teams combined for four goals. Every goal scored during this period was a power play goal. The Generals started the period off with a goal from Dustin Gomez, but this would be the Generals’ only goal of the period. After this goal by the Generals, the Blazers went on a three-goal run as Justin Sullivan recorded two goals and Karson DeRego recorded one. This gave the Blazers a 6 – 2 lead at the end of the second period.
After a high scoring first and second period, neither team would be able to find the back of the net during the final 20 minutes of the game. The third period was as evenly fought as possible between both the Generals and Blazers. Neither team scored while both teams recorded equal shots on goal. The Blazers were able to carry the team’s four goal lead until the final whistle blew as the Blazers beat the Generals, 6 – 2.
Justin Kern, the Generals’ head coach, commented on tonight’s game. Kern said, “I think five-on-five, the guys played really well. Unfortunately, we spent a lot of time in the box. We are not going to win this series shorthanded, so we need to stay out of the box. But when we do go in the box, we need to do a better job of boxing them out on the penalty kill and stopping them from coming on the inside.”
Tomorrow, the Blazers (1-0-0, 2 points) and Generals (0-1-0, 0 points) will stay put at the Bellingham Sportsplex as both of these teams are set to square off once more this weekend. The puck is scheduled to drop at 6:35 pm (PST).
(BEL) Justin Sullivan (F) – two goals
(BEL) Broderick Parker (G) – victory with a .935 save percentage
Tomorrow, tune in to the NPHL’s website for a nightly recap as both of these series continue!
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