Outliers vs Eagles weekend recap
This past weekend, the Utah Outliers took on the Colorado Junior Eagles at the NOCO Ice Center in Fort Collins, Colorado. The Outliers were hopeful coming into the weekend, still buzzing from the first victory of the season against Ogden the weekend before. The Outliers and the Eagles face off a total of six times this season, and three of those six games were hashed out this weekend. The Outliers came out of the series with a win on Sunday, but the Eagles came out victorious on Friday and Saturday.
Friday, October 6th
The game on Friday night was a fierce back-and-forth battle from the get-go. Both teams traded scoring chances up and down the ice, and goaltenders Dawson Rodin and Braden Lajoie both shut the gate for the ten shots they both faced in the opening period. The first period was filled with action as no penalties were called on either side. The score after one period was 0-0.
The second period pace opened equally as strong as the first, with the teams continuing to trade scoring opportunities. Both goaltenders were prepared and turned away all chances, with Outlier’s Rodin thwarting 15 shots, and Eagle’s Lajoie making 13 stops. The Outliers had one power-play opportunity, and the Eagles had two throughout the period but neither club was able to convert. The score remained deadlocked at zero throughout two periods.
The third period finally brought an end to the scoring drought, with Colorado’s Zachary Lish sending one soaring by Rodin at 17:36 in the third. The Outliers fought to net a tying goal, but the Eagles soon doubled their lead as David Mitchell sent a blast past Rodin at 14:33, just three minutes after the go-ahead goal by the Eagles. Unfortunately for the Outliers, goaltender Lajoie continued his dominant play and turned down all shot attempts by Utah. A late penalty taken by Utah forced the team to pull Rodin in the last three minutes of the game. Colorado’s Darrian White was sent to the box for slashing at the 3-minute mark, putting the Outliers on a 6 on 4 advantage late in the period. Unfortunately, Colorado’s John Tower sent a clear shot straight down the middle and into the Outlier’s empty net, sealing the win for Colorado. Lajoie finished the game with a shut-out, turning away all 31 of the Outlier’s shots throughout the game.
Saturday, October 7th
At the start of Saturday’s game, the Outliers started fast as they were determined to bury their first goal of the series after being shut out the previous night. The game began as Friday’s game, with exciting up-and-down the ice action and chances coming from both teams. Despite the Outlier’s fire, the Eagles were the first to get on the scoreboard, with Captain Carter Dahl sending a blistering shot past Rodin at 6:56 in the first period. The rest of the period would again have both teams battling hard up and down the ice but the period expired with a 1-0 Eagles lead.
The Outliers came out of the locker room for the second period with guns blazing, eager to take back the game into their control. Two minutes into the period, some Captain-to-Captain magic resulted in a beautiful goal from Dylan Massie, who found the back of the net on a tick-tack-toe play from Jacob Wanstrom and Zack Hoffman. The Eagles fought hard to regain their lead, and the go-ahead goal was scored by Eagle’s Captain Dahl who broke down the right side and released a rocket that hit the crossbar and bounced in the net. This was Dahl’s second of the game, breaking the tie at 15:34 in the second. The Outlier’s continued to claw their way back and tie the game when Dylan Massie scored the tying goal, his second of the game, at 12:44, from Wanstrom and Kane Toriumi. The Outliers then netted the go-ahead goal a few minutes later, with Brandon Krumpschmid sending a beautiful backhand past Lajoie after a crafty passing play. The goal came at 9:57 in the second period, with assists coming from Hoffman and Toriumi. The rest of the second saw more action on both sides of the ice, but the score remained 3-2 Outliers at the end of the second period.
Beginning the third period with their first lead in the series, the Outliers were short-handed and needed to kill off an inopportune penalty. Unfortunately, Eagle’s Vincent Mastrandrea found a hole in the Outlier’s PK unit, tying the game at 3-3, a minute into the period. Both teams fought hard to earn the advantage goal and it looked like the game was headed to overtime. Unfortunately for the Outliers, with less than a minute remaining in the game, a deflected pass from behind the net made its way into the slot in front of Rodin. The pass found Eagle’s Michael Petrotto, who sent the puck over the shoulder of Rodin and into the net to take the lead with a mere 18 seconds left in the third period. The score remained, and the Outliers returned to the locker room after a disappointing finish. This gave the Eagles their second win of the series by a score of 4-3.
Sunday, October 8th
The puck dropped at noon at NOCO Ice Center for the third and final game of the series between Utah and Colorado. As anticipated, the first period brought close action and tight competition from both sides. The first period saw a multitude of penalties, with the first set coming at just two minutes into the game. Even strength at 14:09, the Eagle’s Zachary Lish opened the scoring to give Colorado a one-goal lead early in the game. A total of 12 penalties were dealt out throughout the first period, but the penalty-kill units on both teams showed their grit by denying all chances on the odd-man-advantages. The period ended 1-0 Eagles.
Determined to take control of the game, the Outliers buried the only goal of the second period at 16:08. The tally came on a powerplay goal from Utah Captain Jacob Wanstrom, finishing on a shot taken by teammate Zack Hoffman to tie the game. The tie held throughout the second, and the game remained 1-1.
The third period held pace with the rest of the series, with exciting play up and down the ice by both squads. Both goaltenders traded huge saves to keep their respective teams in the contest. At the 11-minute mark, Eagle’s David Mitchell found a way through the brick wall that was Rodin, putting Colorado up 2-1. The Outliers, determined to take the game back from the Eagles, responded four minutes later, with Outlier’s Assistant Captain Hoffman joining the rush and converting on a pass to beat Eagle’s netminder Hunter Bancroft. Assists for the goal came from Massie and Viktor Burman. The end of regulation came and left, and the score remained tied 2-2.
Overtime would become a test of will for both teams as it took two overtime periods to declare a winner. During the second overtime, the Eagles took a penalty and gave the Outlier’s power-play unit another chance to shine. The Outliers power-play went to work, and Roman Svik sent the puck down to Krumpschmid at the side of the net, who saw a wide-open Toriumi back-door. Toriumi sent a beautiful-one timer past Bancroft to win the game, with a final score of 3-2. Final shots faced in the third game of the series were 37 for Rodin, and 40 for Bancroft.
The Outliers record is now at 2-3-0 after the first two weekends of the 2017-18 WSHL season. Dylan Massie, Jacob Wanstrom, Zack Hoffman, and Kane Toriumi all finished the weekend with team-leading three points.
This weekend, the Outliers take on the South Oregon Spartans in their first home series of the season. Games are scheduled for Friday, October 13th at 7:05 pm, Saturday, October 14th at 6:35 pm and Sunday, October 15th at 12:05 pm. All games will be played at Utah’s own Accord Ice Arena.
By Carly Tashman