OUTLIERS THANKFUL FOR SWEEP AHEAD OF THANKSGIVING
As the holidays approach, the Utah Outliers have a lot to be thankful for going into the break. Utah welcomed in the newly named Casper Bobcats this past weekend for a three game set, and the home team returned to the winning trend, earning a sweep. Coming in to the series, the Outliers were looking for more consistency and putting together multiple 60-minute games back to back. For Casper, the goal was to rely on stellar goaltending and look to be opportunistic in taking advantage of mistakes by their opponents. After all was said and done, Utah managed to complete more of their tasks, winning three straight by a combined score of 15-5.
Game one started in Utah’s favor as the home team had a plan to showcase their dominance and set the tone early. Outshooting the Bobcats 11-4, the Outliers were able to get the lead early courtesy of an Alex Charin powerplay goal. Within twenty seconds, Charin put in his second in a row, extending the lead by 2, however Casper’s captain Florian Seelman cut the deficit to one just under halfway into the first period. The second frame started out similar to the one, as Charin earned his first junior hat trick just over four minutes in. Matt Bartel continued the scoring, and finally, Nicholas Ness increased the lead to 4 before the second period ended. Casper did not relent, and managed to score a powerplay goal in hopes of starting a comebkack, but the Outliers had other plans, as Ryley Bast and Zak Albers both found the net late to help secure the 7-2 game one win. Oscar Wahlgren picked up 11 saves in the win.
Game two was the embodiment of what Utah’s season has been like. After a convincing game one win, the Outliers had a plan to come out and do more of the same, but Casper had other plans. Seelman struck first for the visiting team, and that 1 goal would be all that was scored in the first period. Utah came out with much more assertion in the second period, peppering 22 shots on net while allowing just 3, but with no positive results. The score remained 1-0 as the final period approached. Seelman took advantage of Utah’s missed opportunities from the previous frame, and scored just 17 seconds into the final period. Down 2-0, the Outliers offense was awakened and the comeback was on. Anthony Masanotti cut the lead to one, and thirty seconds later Ness tied the game. The home team continued to press, and Albers would go on to finally give Utah the lead with just under 10 minutes remaining. The Bobcats once again responded thanks to Seelman’s hat trick, but Utah did not let that score go unchecked as twenty seconds later Ness scored the game winner with his second of the night. Benji Mickel added the insurance goal with just over a minute left, helping the home team escape with the comeback win 5-3. Net minder Jack Walsh collected 15 saves as he picked up his 4th win of the season.
The final game of the weekend saw more superb goaltending by the away team, however this game also saw Utah shore up their defenses. The Outliers outshot the Bobcats 15-8 in the first period, but the score remained deadlocked at zero. Utah ramped up the intensity in the second frame, pouring on an impressive 33 shots while giving up just 4 against. It took the entire period, but finally the boys in black were able to crack the seal, and with just ten seconds left, captain Zach Dornseifer scored a breakaway goal. Dornseifer added to the lead on a 4v4 opportunity to double the margin, before finally Albers popped in the insurance goal to give Utah the win and the sweep. Wahlgren stood tall in net turning away all 18 shots for his second shutout.
With the three wins, the Outliers record now stands at 13-7-1, good for second place in the Mountain Division and third place overall in the WSHL. The team now gets a much needed holiday weekend off before returning to action November 29th when they head to California to take on the first place Western Division Long Beach Bombers.
Stay tuned this off week for more information about the team, highlights, and new about the league and upcoming league showcase. Also make sure that everyone spends some quality time with family and enjoy the holiday season!