ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL WEEKEND FOR THE OUTLIERS
The Utah Outliers return to Salt Lake City, UT with three more wins added to their season total. For the second time in three weeks, the Outliers headed out to Cheyenne to take on the Stampede, and for the second time they earned a sweep. With only a handful of games left in the regular season, every point can make a difference with playoff implications on the line. The three wins give Utah a record of 27-13-2-1, good for second in the Midwest Division and keeping them in the top five in the WSHL. The team will have the next weekend off before playing a home and home series with the Ogden.
In game one of the series, Utah and Cheyenne started trading blows, figuring out the best way to attack one another. It wasn’t until late in the first period that newcomer Austin Dennison broke the tie and gave Utah the 1-0 lead. Cheyenne responded seconds later to even the score going into the break. The second period was almost a mirror image to the prior as it took until the final two minutes before a goal was scored. Cheyenne broke the tie, but twenty seconds later Zach Dornseifer evened the game yet again. Going into the third period, both teams were still looking to get and control the lead. Jake Papesh gave the Outliers a 3-2 lead but once again the persistent Stampede struck back. The theme of quick scoring continued and ten seconds after Cheyenne’s strike, Benji Mickel regained the visitor’s lead. Anthony Masanotti finished up the scoring for Utah, and the away team skated away with a 59-17 shot advantage and a 5-3 win. Oscar Wahlgren turned away 14 shots en route to his 19th victory of the season.
The second game of the weekend was a special teams frenzy as the first 4 goals were all scored on the powerplay. Cheyenne struck first, followed by back-to-back goals courtesy of Nicholas Ness. The Stampede re-tied the game, but just like the previous night, less than ten seconds later a Papesh cannon gave Utah back the lead. Going into the second period, the Outliers finally found their groove, rattling off 5 goals and increasing their lead to 8-2. Ness started the barrage completing his hattrick, followed by Utah native Bradley Green. Alex Charin also scored sandwiched by a pair of Matt Bartel goals. The third period was much more uneventful as only one goal was scored, coming in the form of Green’s second of the night. Once again, Utah completely dominated all aspects of the game, outshooting the home team 76-16. Charles-Olivier Lepage in his second start picked up the win.
Game three was all Utah, as the team came out early and never looked back, cruising to an 11-0 victory. The Outliers were balanced throughout the game, scoring three in the first, four in the second, and another three in the last frame. Mickel led the scoring for Utah with 4 goals. He also added an assist to complete his 5-point night. Other goal scorers included Philip Magni, Dennison, Green, Dvorak, Zak Albers, Miroslav Hradecky, and Dylan Dix. Alex Charin led the way in the playmaking department with 3 assists. Kaeden Meuer and Dvorak each collected two assists, while Dix, Austin Heinrich, Niklas Lejon, Albers, Mickel, Magni, and Dornseifter each picked up one of their own. Wahlgren turned away 19 of 19 shots to secure his league leading 5th shutout of the season and 20th win.
The Outliers will have a weekend off to rest up and get prepared as the next two games will take place in the form of a home and home series against the 1st place Ogden Mustangs. Coming off a previous split with the Mustangs, Utah will look to improve on those results and look to take home some more points. Until then be sure to keep an eye out for more information on the team as well as updates as playoffs get closer.