OUTLIERS SET SIGHTS TOWARDS SOUTHERN OREGON
The Utah Outliers are in Oregon this weekend to take on the Southern Oregon Spartans for a three game series. Coming off a sweep of the Casper Coyotes, the Outliers are hoping to extend their winning streak and make a jump in the Mountain Division standings. Currently boasting a record of 12-4-0, Utah sits in third place in the division while still having games in hand on Ogden and Colorado.
The last time the Outliers and Spartans met, Utah was able to dismantle the opponents by a combined score of 22-4. Since then, the Outliers have won seven games while only losing one, whereas the Spartans have won one game and lost five. One thing to keep note of is the home ice advantage. The “Madhouse” in Medford is never an easy place to play for visiting teams. The rowdy atmosphere and hometown fans mixed with smaller ice surface, makes the competition level jump to another level.
Some players to keep an eye on this weekend for the Spartans are defenseman Jakub Mecir and forward Kalem Nohnych. Mecir, the big Czech, currently sits with a 2-9-11 stat line in eleven games, good for first on the team in both assists and points. Nohnych is leading Southern Oregon in goals with 5, to go along with his 3 assists. In net, both Krystof Holub and Austin Toussaint have split time, playing in seven and eight games respectively.
The Outliers once again will be relying on scoring by committee and great goaltending. Nine players have double-digit points, and all three goaltenders have winning records. Defenseman Zack Hoffman continues to showcase his offensive prowess from the back-end leading the team with 27 points in fourteen games. Forwards Brandon Krumpschmid and Kane Toriumi each currently sit at 9 goals in fifteen games, while forwards Jacob Wanstrom and Gianni Vitali boast 17 and 15 assists.
This weekend is important for both teams in different ways. For Utah, the focus is closing the gap and climbing the standings to prove they belong amongst the elite teams in the league. For the Spartans, the weekend is a chance to shake off the early season lulls and get back to the winning tradition that the organization has come to expect over the past few seasons.
Puck drop is at 7:30 PM at the Southern Oregon Ice Arena. Another interesting note for this weekend is that the home team Spartans will be wearing special Military Appreciation Night jerseys that will be auctioned off. On behalf of the Outliers, the team is thankful to be playing the Spartans during this great event, and are very excited to be a part of this great tradition.