UTAH ROLLS IN ROUND 1
This past weekend, the Utah Outliers competed in round two of the WSHL playoffs. The Outliers are heading back to the Mountain Division Finals after completing a very convincing two game sweep of the Casper Bobcats. In the victory, Utah showcased dominance as the team poured on 17 goals while not surrendering a single goal against. The outburst in offense is very promising for a team looking to keep consistency offensively, while the defensive side of the game was perfection, as the boys in black stifled every Bobcat attack and maintained a perfect score. The results of the weekend mean that for the second year in a row, the Outliers and Ogden Mustangs will battle for the Mountain Division crown.
In game one of the series, Utah posted goals consistently throughout the game. 4 goals were scored in the first, 5 were added in the middle frame, and 3 goals were tacked on in the third. In addition to the barrage of goal scoring, the Outliers posted shot lines of 20 in the first, 29 in the second, and 23 in the third. All of this offense also was helped by only allowing 6 total shots against throughout the game. Leading the way up front for the Outliers was Jan Dvorak with a 3 goal / 2 assist night. Benji Mickel and Zach Dornseifer each posted 2 goal / 2 assist games, and Niklas Lejon also contributed 4 points on 1 goal and 3 assists. From the back end, Jake Papesh led the defensive core with 3 assists. Four other Outliers scored in the contest, and Oscar Wahlgren earned his first shutout of the playoffs and 8th shutout on the season.
Game two and the final game of the weekend was more of the same as the Outliers skated off to another shutout win, this time to the tune of 5-0. Goaltender Henry Dennee did a tremendous job keeping Utah’s shooters at bay in the first, turning away 25 shots and limiting the home team to zero goals. In the second, the Outliers managed to put up 24 more shots, and Bradley Green broke the tie on a beautiful faceoff play set up by Austin Dennison. One minute later, Gabe Longshore doubled the lead on an absolute bullet from the slot. In the final period of the weekend and series, 21 more shots led to three more goals. Zach Dornseifer started scoring for Utah as a random dump in to the zone took a bounce off the glass and changed course, finding its way into an empty net. Lejon kept his hotstreak rolling as he completed scoring for the team, netting two in the final minutes of the game. Charles-Olivier Lepage saw some decent chances against, but managed to pick up a 16 save shutout.
The Outliers will now get back to work this week as they prepare once again for their familiar rival, the Ogden Mustangs. The Mustangs are also coming off a dominating sweep of their opponents the Steamboat Wranglers, and are also looking to keep momentum as they also continue on their Thorne Cup Championship push. The two foes will do battle this upcoming weekend at The Ice Sheet in Ogden, UT in a best of three series. Stay tuned for more information about the division finals, as well as start times for all three games.