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02/18/2014 4:28 PM -
Although there were a couple of surprises this weekend, like the resurgence of the Boulder Bison, the teams that have been at their best in 2014 continued to trend upward, including the revamped El Paso Rhinos, who remained perfect in the new year with another solid showing.
Below is a summary of each weekend series/game:
Dallas Snipers (20-17-2, 4th in Midwest Division) @ Tulsa Jr. Oilers (6-33-0, 5th in Midwest Division)
Three-game series in Tulsa, Oklahoma
The Dallas Snipers went into Tulsa and dominated the Jr. Oilers in a series that was over before the weekend, literally, as they started out with a big win on Wednesday night and finished up with two more on Thursday and Friday to pull within a point of Texas for third place in the Midwest Division.
After a scoreless opening period got the series started on Wednesday night, the Snipers turned it up over the final two periods, notching five goals in the second and adding three more in the third in an 8-0 shutout victory.
Veteran forward Aaron Krominga led the way with a hat trick, while both Shane Bonds and Emil Melin added three points each. Goaltender Steffan Muller made his first start in a Snipers uniform and was pristine; stopping all 14 shots he faced to earn the shutout.
Things were much closer in game two, as Tulsa, still skating short-benched, tightened up and fought as hard as they could to make a game of it but Dallas scored three unanswered goals in a 4-2 win.
Veteran defenseman Luke Grignano scored the only goal for either side in the opening period to pace the Snipers to a 1-0 lead but the Jr. Oilers came out hard to begin the second and took a 2-1 lead, thanks to goals from Casey Neel and Austin Van Amen, which came just 56 seconds apart.
Dallas came back to tie it up near the middle part of the period, as rookie forward Zach Lawson put one home, before Swedish sniper Emil Melin gave the Snipers the lead for good just 1:28 later.
An Alexander Lehnbom short-handed goal early in the third seemed to put the game on ice, as Dallas held on for the victory.
Emil Melin finished the game with a team-high three points for the second straight game, while another Swede named Emil, Emil Eriksson, stopped all four shots he faced after coming on in relief of starter Joshua Soule early in the second period.
Playing the finale of the series on Valentine’s Day, the two teams showed no love for one another, as they combined for 89 penalty minutes and 16 total power play opportunities. The Snipers capitalized on four of their nine chances and cruised to a 6-1 win and series sweep.
A Hakim Senni goal, scored 9:21 into regulation, paced the Jr. Oilers to a first-period lead but it was all Snipers from that point on, as the visitors rattled off six straight goals in the big victory.
Shane Bonds tied things up with just nine seconds left before the end of the opening period and added another, which made it 3-1 at the time, 9:07 into the middle period. Also tallying in the second were forwards Aaron Krominga and Christopher Stein.
Leading 4-1 entering the third, the Snipers notched two more power play goals, via Konstantin Ljubobratets and Pavol Kotzman and held on for the win.
Aaron Krominga and Justin Becton, a pair of important veteran forwards, each had three points to lead the Snipers, while Joshua Soule bounced back from a tough outing the night before to get the win in net, stopping 20 of the 21 shots he faced.
The sweep gives the Snipers wins in seven of their last nine outings, as Dallas continues to be at their best when they stay out of penalty trouble and get contributions from a number of different sources.
They’ll have a golden opportunity to move into third place this weekend, as they play a home-and-home with Texas, the team they are now just one point behind.
Tulsa played hard and was in games two and three but just don’t have the firepower left to pull anything out.
They have now lost 17 straight games and won’t have much time to rest, as they face Texas tonight and tomorrow, in a pair of make-up games from a postponed series a few months ago.
Salt Lake City Moose (28-12-2, 2nd in Northwest Division) @ Missoula Maulers (15-20-4, 4th in Northwest Division)
Three-game series in Missoula, Montana
The Salt Lake City Moose and Missoula Maulers both helped their playoff situations in a battle of a series, as the Moose were able to pick up two wins and stay inches ahead of the Ogden Mustangs in the race for the second spot, while the Maulers notched a win and are now just three points away from clinching the fourth position.
Opening things up on Thursday night, the Maulers looked as though they’d run away with a win early on but ended up having to eek out a 5-4 win thanks to a late goal.
Missoula used the home crowd to get going and took it to the travel-weary Moose in the opening frame, as Joey Sundgren, Erik Hartzell, Matt Chamberlain and Austin Azzinnaro each tallied to pace the Maulers to a 4-1 lead, while Dan Veselovsky netted the lone goal for the visitors.
Still being outplayed in the second period by a tenacious Maulers team, the Moose were able to get within two on a penalty shot goal from Pat Dwyer and the veteran forward then assisted on a Jurjis Moiseicenko goal 5:33 into the third that pulled Salt Lake City within one.
The Moose carried play for most of the third period and ended up outshooting the Maulers 22-9 over the final twenty minutes of play and eventually tied things up, as Martin Tolkner put one home at 12:13 to make it 4-4.
Responding quickly however, the Maulers grabbed the momentum back and took the lead for good just 1:11 later, as Nikita Sheptytskyy scored to give the Maulers a 5-4 lead, which they held on to for the win.
Sheptytskyy, who has really been coming on as of late, led the Maulers with three points on the night, while Cody Janzen was strong in net, stopping 37 of 41 in the win.
Both Pat Dwyer and Dan Veselovsky notched two points to lead the Moose in the comeback bid that fell just short.
The Moose bounced back in game two and hopped out to a 1-0 first period lead, while outshooting the Maulers 16-2 and controlled play throughout in a 3-1 victory.
Martin Tolkner scored off an assist from the newly acquired Adrian Schmidt in the opening frame to pace the Moose to a 1-0 lead, before Brett Meyer and Tyler Keturi, a pair of super rookies, each scored to extend the lead to 3-0 in the second.
The Maulers seemed to wake up a bit in the third to outshoot and out chance the Moose but only scored one goal to show for it, as Joey Porco’s power play marker early in the period pulled them within two but they wouldn’t get any closer in the loss.
Brad Robertson was strong in the Salt Lake crease in the victory, stopping 25 of the 26 shots he faced, while Cody Janzen also played well but took the loss for Missoula, allowing three goals on 47 shots.
Trailing 1-0 through two periods of play in the finale, thanks to some spectacular goaltending from Michael McDaniel, the Maulers tied things up on an Erik Hartzell goal just 2:34 into the third.
The Moose fired back for the next four goals however and cruised to a 5-1 win.
Just minutes after Hartzell knotted things up, veteran forward Cole Corson gave the Moose the lead back for good with his goal at 8:16, before Brett Meyer, Adam Kresl and Pat Dwyer all tallied in a span of 2:18 to blow the door open in the big victory.
Dwyer and Meyer each collected two points to lead Salt Lake, while Brad Robertson picked up another win in net, stopping all but one of the 27 shots he faced.
Being able to bounce back after Friday night’s defeat and pick up the two wins is big for the Moose, as the Mustangs were able to put together a strong weekend and are now just one point behind them for second place.
With Ogden still owning two games in-hand, the Moose will be looking to win out and start the post-season at home, which would be an enormous advantage.
Missoula played well on Friday night but seemed to slow down a bit as the weekend went along, as Salt Lake’s depth presented a number of problems for them.
They were still able to pick up a key victory, while getting a handful of players to chip in offensively and are all but a lock to make the playoffs now.
Ontario Avalanche (29-9-3, 2nd in Western Division) @ New Mexico Renegades (4-33-0, 6th in Mountain Division)
Three-game series in Rio Rancho, New Mexico
Completing a stretch of two straight weeks on the road, the Ontario Avalanche followed up their strong showing in Dallas with a sweep of the Renegades in New Mexico and are now within a point of the division-leading Fresno Monsters.
Choosing to go straight from Dallas to Rio Rancho after winning two of three against the Snipers two weekends ago, the Avalanche practiced on the Renegades ice during the week and it may have helped, as they looked at home in the three big wins.
Zechariah Roberts, a sparingly used depth player last season, has turned into quite the offensive performer in year two and notched five points to lead the Avs to an 8-2 victory on Friday night.
Goals from Antoine Maillard and Luke Rendino paced Ontario to a 2-0 lead after the opening period of play but the Renegades got within one on a power play goal from Rasmus Alamaa early in the second.
The Avalanche responded with three straight goals, including the second of the game for Maillard and Rendino, as well as another from Calle Hallberg, to take complete control of the game and go up 5-1.
Nikita Pervyakov would score to get New Mexico back within three late in the second but the Avalanche piled it on in the third, as Brad Lemelin, Jackson Giammona and the aforementioned Roberts each tallied to make it 8-2.
Helping lead the way along with Roberts, leading scorer Antoine Maillard amassed four points in the win, while Daniel Cepila stopped 29 of the 31 shots he faced for the win in net.
Nikita Pervyakov’s two points led New Mexico in the loss, as the Renegades threw much more shots on net than they tend to and allowed far fewer to make their way through, as the team continues to show progress.
The Avalanche got back to their defensive style in game two and cruised to a 4-0 win behind a 34-save shutout from Daniel Cepila.
Antoine Maillard, Zechariah Roberts and Calle Hallberg led the offensive charge again, with two points each for Ontario, with Maillard scoring twice, along with one each from Nikita Salnikov and Andrew Guzman.
The Avalanche jumped out to a 3-0 first period lead in the finale and never looked back, continuing on to a 5-2 win and series weep.
It was once again Zechariah Roberts, along with Luke Rendino and Lubomir Fetkovic, leading the way with three points in the win, while Drake Koegel stopped 27 of 29 in net.
Ryan Meyer and Zach Comfort tallied the two New Mexico goals, as the Renegades once again put up a fight and kept the game close.
The three wins for Ontario weren’t as pretty as they probably would have liked but they were noticeably fatigued as the weekend went along and will be happy to return home just one point out of first.
They won’t have to leave California again in the regular season and playoffs, unless they make it to the Thorne Cup, which I’m sure they’d have no problem jumping on the bus for.
They have a huge three-game set coming up against the Monsters in late February/early March and it likely will decide first place.
At the beginning of the season, the New Mexico Renegades looked like they would struggle to keep anything close but behind persistence from head coach Steve Harrison and a few additions, they have really started to come together.
Now, they don’t have any wins to show for it and there are no moral victories in hockey but in the first-year of a rebuild, you’ll take what you can get and keeping three games against a very good team close is a huge positive.
Valencia Flyers (24-14-4, 3rd in Western Division) @ El Paso Rhinos (35-2-0, 1st in Midwest Division)
Three-game series in El Paso, Texas
A week after going into Fresno and surprising everyone by taking five of six points from the powerful Monsters, the Valencia Flyers took to the road again but this time ran into the buzz saw that is the new-look El Paso Rhinos, as Cory Herman’s club remained perfect in 2014 with three solid victories.
Playing in front of one of their biggest crowds of the year on Valentine’s Day, the Rhinos showed no love for the travel-bitten Flyers, as they roared out to an 8-0 lead and never looked back in an 11-1 shellacking.
Krisztian Nagy led the way with five points on the night, Tom Bartel added four and Jiri Pestuka and Kalvis Ozols added three each, in a group that consists of a Hungarian, American, Czech and Latvian.
Another Hungarian was solid in net, as well, as Adam Vay stopped all but one of the 28 shots he faced in the victory, with only Jordan Grywacheski’s power play marker beating him, late in the second.
The Flyers got off to a much better start the next day and led 2-0 on goals from Austin Ehrlich and Aharon Lara.
Krisztian Nagy would pull El Paso within one late in the opening period, bfore Kalvis Ozols struck 3:13 into the second to tie things up.
Not backing down however, the young Flyers showed no fear in a very tough place to play and took the lead back on a power play goal from Jakob Kranabetter but the Rhinos responded with a power play goal of their own, as Nick Plesa knotted it up less than three minutes later.
Taking the lead again on a power play goal, defenseman Niklas Giers put one home at 16:21 of the period to give the Flyers their third lead of the game but like clockwork, the Rhinos responded to tie it at four before the end of the period, as Peter Plesa found twine.
As fast as the Flyers came out to begin the first period, the Rhinos did the same in the third and took complete control of the game, as both Matthew and Peter Plesa scored goals, with another from Jiri Pestuka sandwiched in between, to give El Paso a 7-4 lead, before Aharon Lara and Drew DePalma traded goals late in an 8-5 Rhinos win.
The Plesa brothers combined for 11 points on the night, with Matthew notching four and both Nick and Peter collecting three, while Bryce Fink, playing his first game in a Rhinos uniform, settled down after some early nerves and got the win, while stopping 27 of 32.
Aharon Lara, Austin Ehrlich and Jakob Kranabetter each tallied three points to lead the Flyers in the tough loss.
Finishing up the sweep in the finale, the Rhinos got out to a 2-0 lead and although the Flyers fought back, they were never able to get even again in a 7-3 loss.
Defenseman Jack Strusz led the Rhinos with four points in the win, while Chris Wilhite, Nike, Peter and Matthew Plesa each collected three points.
Adam Vay returned to the El Paso crease and stopped 21 of 24 in the victory.
Defenseman Jordan Grywacheski, who has proven to be a key addition since coming over in a trade from Wichita, led the Flyers with two goals in the loss.
The three wins for the Rhinos now has them a perfect 15-0-0 in 2014 and they have now clinched the top spot in the Midwest Division, with home ice being a huge advantage at the Sierra Providence Events Center.
Their new additions haven’t caused any chemistry problems and have helped the Rhinos play like a well-oiled machine and one that won’t stop until they bring home a Thorne Cup.
The Flyers needed just one point to clinch their third-straight playoff berth but couldn’t recover after a tough game on Friday night and never looked completely in synch.
They’re still playing well however and should be able to clinch eventually, with four games left on the schedule, including three at home and two against the struggling San Diego Gulls.
Dallas Ice Jets (23-11-3, 2nd in Midwest Division) @ Boulder Bison (21-17-0, 4th in Mountain Division)
Three-game series in Superior, Colorado
Finally healthy and skating with a full roster, the Boulder Bison showed that they are not a team to sleep on, as a handful of players that come off injured reserve and a few new faces helped lead the home team to two key victories over the speedy Dallas Ice Jets.
Just a few months after taking two of three from the Ice Jets on the road, the Bison were able to do the same on their home ice but it didn’t come easy, as all three games were decided by just one goal.
It didn’t take Alejandro Ochoa long to score his first goal as a Bison, as the local product tallied just 57 seconds into the opening period of game one to pace Boulder to a 1-0 lead.
Another highly skilled forward, Nick Felan of the Dallas Ice Jets, responded late in the period to tie things up however as the two teams headed to the intermission knotted at one.
The Ice Jets took their first lead of the game 10:07 into the middle frame, as former Bison Scott Folden put one home on the power play to make it 2-1 in favor of Dallas but the Bison responded late in the period, as Tanner West found twine to make it 2-2 after two.
9:29 into the third period, the Bison went back in front, as Charles Joly, a rookie forward that has helped carry the offense all season, scored on the power play off an assist form Ochoa to make it 3-2.
Just about five minutes later however, the Ice Jets came back to tie it up, as Johnny Henson put one home from Sergey Ugarkin to knot it at three and eventually force overtime.
After neither team was able to convert during the four-on-four overtime period, Alejandro Ochoa notched his second of the game, as the rookie scored with just 16 seconds left in the three-on-three frame to lift the Bison to the 4-3 win.
Ochoa finished the game with three points to lead the Bison, while Daniel Orsborn and Nick Kuhn, the other two-thirds of his line, each collected two assists.
Colin Champine returned to the pipes for the Bison and showed no signs of the injury that kept him out for a couple of months, stopping 49 of 52 in the win.
Leading scorer Chris Schutz led the Ice Jets with two assists on the night, while John Groth, playing his first game in a Dallas uniform after being acquired from New Mexico, stopped 33 of 37 in the overtime defeat.
The Alejandro Ochoa show continued into game two for Boulder, as the forward scored the lone goal of the opening period and assisted on a Kevin Behrens power play marker in the second to help pace the Bison to a 2-0 lead.
Chris Schutz would help get Dallas back within one on a power play goal of his own late in the second but was answered just over a minute later by a Boulder goal from Greg Sodbinow, which made it 3-1 before the intermission.
The Ice Jets took control of the third period and doubled up Boulder in shots, 14-7 and scored three times, to come from behind and get the 4-3 win.
Scott Folden got things started on the power play, before two more Chris Schutz goals completed his hat trick and gave the Ice Jets the lead for good.
Schutz finished the game with three goals and Folden also added three points to lead the way, while John Groth stopped 28 of 31 in net for the win.
Alejandro Ochoa and Greg Sodbinow’s two points led the Bison, while Champine took the loss in net, allowing four goals on 34 shots.
The Ice Jets outshot Boulder 41-24 in the finale and a Yannick Aube goal 50 seconds into the middle frame paced the visitors to a 1-0 lead but the Bison fought back and won by a score of 3-2.
Kevin Behrens and Tanner West each tallied in the middle period to give the Bison a 2-1 lead entering the third, before Alex Devillier, fresh back from the SJHL, tied things up fro Dallas.
With 6:10 left in regulation, Victor Lombardi put one home from Charles Joly and it stood up to be the game winner, as Brandon Yinger stopped 39 of 41 in net for the victory.
Joly finished the game with two points to lead Boulder, while John Groth stopped 21 of 24 in net for Dallas in the loss.
The Bison had been waiting for the calvary to arrive over the last few weeks and arrive they did this weekend, helping Boulder to two key victories.
Ochoa and a handful of other newcomers, along with players like Colin Champine and Chris Lupinski, who both came off of injured reserve, help the Bison become a feared opponent again and they’ll be looking to sweep the Colorado Jr. Eagles in a home-and-home series this weekend in order to re-gain third place in the division.
The Ice Jets didn’t play all that bad and probably deserved more than the three points they acquired but have a lot more firepower with guys like Felan and Devillier in the lineup and with Groth in net, they should be stronger going forward.
Paul Taylor won’t be happy with the results but his team is pretty much locked into second place and will have to forget the series in a hurry, as they head to El Paso for three with the Rhinos this weekend.
Seattle Totems (11-26-4, T-5th in Northwest Division) @ Ogden Mustangs (27-10-3, 3rd in Northwest Division)
Three-game series in Ogden, Utah
Looking to secure home ice advantage in the opening round of the playoffs, the Ogden Mustangs inched closer to the rival Salt Lake City Moose over the weekend, as they bounced back from a tough series against Fresno and handled the Seattle Totems over three key victories.
The Totems started strong in the opener however, as a Pavel Jon goal had Mike Murphy and Co. out to a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes of play.
Over the final 40-minutes however, it was all Ogden, as the Mustangs scored seven times and cruised to a 7-1 win.
Scoring seven goals is great and all but the fact that seven different players scored goals in the win is huge for a team that will need their depth to carry them moving forward, as Simon Teodorsson, another key factor, led the way with three assists.
Tyler Fallica stopped 19 of the 20 shots he faced in net to pick up the win, before giving way to Connor Webb for the final 20 minutes of regulation.
Game two featured the Sean Haltam show, as the second year forward, who has been flying under the radar most of this season, notched three first period goals to help Ogden to a 6-3 win.
Haltam’s three first period markers came via helpers from five different players, as the Mustangs continue to show off their depth, while Mike Kowicki and Simon Teodorsson extended the Ogden lead to 5-1 with goals in the second.
Lucas Walsh and Frank Flight would both tally for Seattle in the third but Craig Moore scored short handed in between the two and the Mustangs held on in a game that got chippy late.
Haltam, Kowicki and Schuyler Seyfert each notched three points to lead the Stangs, while Connor Webb stopped 15 of 16 over two periods in net for the win, before Niall Quinn got a crack at it in the third.
Frank Flight’s two assists led the Totems in the loss, while Eli Alyakin allowed three goals on 36 in net, after taking over for Cody Stein.
In another heated game in the finale, the Mustangs tallied give goals in the second period to pull away and finish the sweep with an 8-4 win.
Martin Hallin led the way with two goals and three assists, while both Sean Haltam and Simon Teodorsson added three points.
Lucas Walsh had four points to lead the Totems, while both Frank Flight and Nikolay Mamadzhanov added three.
Tyler Fallica went the distance in net for Ogden and stopped 34 of the 38 shots he faced in the win.
The three victories moves Ogden to within a point of Salt Lake City for second place, with two games in-hand on their rivals, which is huge, as the Mustangs have a distinct advantage if they can secure home ice.
They were able to get everyone in on the action against, including all three goaltenders and stayed away from the rough stuff as best they could.
Seattle’s playoff hopes are now officially done, as they will miss the post-season for the first time in their short WSHL tenure.
If they can retain some key pieces moving forward and get off to a better start in the fall, they’ll be right back in the thick of things again.
Colorado Jr. Eagles (21-16-2, 3rd in Mountain Division) @ Southern Oregon Spartans (11-25-4, 6th in Northwest Division)
Three-game series in Medford, Oregon
The Colorado Jr. Eagles were introduced to the Medford Madhouse over the weekend but the first-year club didn’t seem too fazed by the ruckus crowds, as Steve Haddon and Company took two of the three games against the Southern Oregon Spartans.
Tied at one after the opening period of play in game one, thanks to a Zachary Lovelace goal for the Spartans and Kyle Arenson for the Jr. Eagles, Colorado blew the game wide open with three goals in the second and held on for the 5-2 win.
Levi Weber, Tanner Ulland and Cory Richardson each tallied in the middle frame and another steady contributor, forward Luke Galatiuk, extended the lead to 5-1 with another early in the third, before Carl Edstrom got the Spartans within thee late in the period.
Arenson finished the game with three points to lead the Jr. Eagles, while Eric Messer stopped 24 of 26 in net.
Justus Saldeen’s two points led the Spartans in the loss, while Jiri Ponikelsky took the hit in net, allowing four goals on 24 shots before being pulled before the start of the third period.
Another big period the next game helped propel the Jr. Eagles to another hard fought victory, as they entered the third period trailing 3-2 but rallied to score three goals and win 5-2.
Scott Smoot, playing just his second game in a Jr. Eagles uniform, led the way with four points, while Nick Davidson added three and Eric Messer faced an easy night of work in net, stopping 15 of 18 in the win.
Ben Henry had two assists to lead Southern Oregon in the loss, while Ian Dvorak stopped 17 of 22 in net.
Scott Smoot’s second goal of the game gave the Jr. Eagles a 2-1 lead early in the third period of the finale but it was the Spartans catching fire this time around and firing back for four straight goals in a 5-2 win.
Carl Edstrom and Ben Henry each had two points in the win, while Marco Medina stopped 32 of 34 in net to help keep the Spartans’ slim playoff hopes alive.
Scott Smoot’s two goals led Colorado and Quinn Wold stopped 24 of 28 in net in the loss.
The two wins keep Colorado two points ahead of fourth place Boulder, who they face in a home-and-home series this weekend.
With guys like Smoot added into the mix of an already solid team, along with the goaltending of Messer, the Jr. Eagles will be a tough opponent to face come playoff time.
The Spartans played hard with their depleted roster, as guys like Edstrom continue to play well but they allowed big periods to kill them in games one and two.
They still have a slim shot at the playoffs but will essentially need to win out and hope for the best.
San Diego Gulls (8-28-3, 6th in Western Division) @ Long Beach Bombers (20-18-0, 5th in Western Division)
Single game played Sunday in Lakewood, California
With a couple of new faces in the lineup, the Long Beach Bombers continued their surge toward the playoffs with a victory over the San Diego Gulls in a Sunday matinee affair and are now just one point back of the fourth-place Lake Tahoe Blue.
The Bombers did fall behind early, as Linus Kleeman scored 2:06 into regulation to pace San Diego to a 1-0 lead but behind their tremendous offense, the Bombers tallied the game’s next four goals and carried on to a 6-3 win.
Three big time contributors tallied in the first, as Marcus Viitanen, Tomas Nemeth and Johan Beatty gave the Bombers a 3-1 lead after one, before Valeriy Ledovskiy, made it 4-1 with his goal in the second.
After Kyle Rimbach got the Gulls within two early in the third, Filip Martinec and Martin Vachal put the game out of reach and at 6-2, before another from Rimbach late made gave us the final score.
Tomas Nemeth finished the game with three points to lead the way, while five other Bombers enjoyed multi point games in the win.
A week after Jakub Krejci put on a show in three wins against Lake Tahoe, Talon Miller returned to the Long Beach crease and stopped 20 of 23 in the win, as another strong defensive performance by the Bombers helped the veteran netminder.
Rimbach, Michael Leone and Ilya Sakhibgareev each notched two points to lead San Diego and Brody Cavataio stopped 19 of 25 in the loss in net.
Winners of six straight, the Bombers have turned it up at the right time and look as though they’ll cruise right past Lake Tahoe and into their first playoff appearance in six seasons.
Their top forwards have been great all season but their depth has been tremendous as of late, as well as goaltending and it looks like the defensive corps is coming around as well, which will make them a feared opponent come playoff time.
On the losing end of nine of their last 10, the Gulls will miss the post-season for the first time in a long while but with kids like Rimbach and Leone playing well, the future is still bright.
HockeyWolf Three Stars of the Week
1. Matthew Plesa (Forward, El Paso Rhinos)- The Plesa line was dominant in three big victories over the Valencia Flyers, as the trio of brothers helped the El Paso Rhinos remain perfect in 2014. Nick and Peter each collected eight points over the three wins but Matthew, who now leads the team with 74 points on the season, led the way with nine, eight of which were helpers.
2. Zechariah Roberts (Forward, Ontario Avalanche)- In a depth role last season, Zechariah Roberts put up a respectable 26 points in 44 games for the Ontario Avalanche. Through 39 games so far in year two, the forward has already notched 46 points, 10 of which were tallied in a sweep of the New Mexico Renegades this past weekend.
3. Simon Teodorsson (Forward, Ogden Mustangs)- Bouncing back nicely after a tough series against the Fresno Monsters, the Ogden Mustangs put three more tallies in the win column in a weekend sweep of the Seattle Totems. A number of players got going, as the Mustangs continue to show tremendous depth at every position but none were as good as Swedish forward Simon Teodorsson, who scored twice and added six assists.