Wenatchee, WA – The #1 Wenatchee Wolves (2-0-0, 4 points) and #4 Tri-City Outlaws (0-2-0, 0 points) have completed the first two games in this best of five series. The Wolves were able to take the first game on March 12th, thus beating the Outlaws, 9 – 2. Then on the following day, March 13th, the Wolves were able to beat the Outlaws in Kennewick, Washington, 10 – 0.
With the Wolves being able to capture an early 2 – 0 series lead, the team needs one more victory over the Outlaws in order to punch their ticket to the championship series. During the first two games of this series, the Wolves came out and scored consistently throughout each game. But it wasn’t just consistent scoring that helped the Wolves, it was also two big pushes in the final period of both games that helped solidify their victories.
In the first game, the Wolves scored four goals between the first and second period. During the third period, the Wolves came out and scored five goals. This trend continued in the second game when the Wolves scored three goals in the first period, then three more goals in the second period, and four goals in the third period.
Ryan McKelvie, the Wolves’ head coach, discussed what the team must do to punch their ticket to the championship series. McKelvie said, “we had three team objectives for this series related to our defensive play, and the guys will have to work really hard to meet those objectivestomorrow. Other than that, we just want to continue to compete hard and play with good habits throughout the game.”
As for the Outlaws, the team was able to score it’s only two goals in the series during the first game. Adam Shimamoto and Payton Okon both beat the Wolves’ goalie, Max Flynn, for a goal. Okon being able to find offensive success while playing against the Wolves is a trend he has carried throughout the season. During the teams’ eight regular season games, Okon held the team high in points scored against the Wolves. He recorded six points, which breaks down to three goals and three assists.
Perhaps the Outlaws’ biggest struggle during the first game in this series was staying out of the penalty box. The team spent 21 minutes in the box during the first game alone. But in the second game, the team was able to make some adjustments as the Outlaws only spent 15 minutes in the penalty box. Despite being able to cut down on the penalty infraction minutes, the Outlaws were not able to score during the second game.
If the Wolves win tomorrow, the team will advance to the Cascade Cup Championship series. But if the Outlaws win, the team will live to play another day in the NPHL’s 2016 playoffs. Game time is scheduled for 7:35 pm at the Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee, Washington.
Tune in to the league’s website for a full recap following the conclusion of the game!
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