Icemen sweep Totems, will host 1st place team
Special to the Tribune
The Lake Tahoe Icemen rampaged past the Seattle Totems Friday and Saturday, Jan. 19-20, and then won in double overtime Sunday to earn a sweep.
The Icemen added six crucial points and sit two points behind second place West Sound in the Northwest Division heading into a tough series at home against the Western Division leading Long Beach Bombers.
Icemen forward Paul Frys extended his scoring streak to 15 games and newcomer Mitch Hunt was a pain in the neck to his former team, scoring eight points (five goals, three assists) in the three-game set.
“I was glad to finally play a game with the new team, and glad to beat some old teammates and friends,” Hunt said.
The Icemen pummeled the Totems 8-1 in the series opener. The Totems stayed even with the Icemen through the first period and the start of the second before Tahoe started rolling. The totems did not capitalize on three first-period power plays.
The game winner went to Philip Heisse III at 13:14 in the second.
The Icemen scored another five goals that period and added one more in the third.
The Totems took 18 minutes in penalties while the Icemen had 32 minutes.
Icemen goaltender Tommy Spero blocked 17 of 18 shots. Seattle goalies allowed eight goals on just 20 Icemen shots.
The Icemen continued to roll Saturday with a 9-2 victory.
Tahoe put up three in the first, including the game winner by Ilja Cetvertak with 50 seconds left in the period. Cetvertak would go on to score a hat trick with Frys assisting on each goal. Tahoe would score another two in the second and three more in the third.
Icemen defenseman Justin Poirier and Totems forward Braden Sanchez were both ejected for head contact in the third period. Overall, the Icemen took 42 minutes in penalties while the Totems had 37.
Icemen goalie Wade Conlan made 20 saves on 22 shots. Totems goalie Garrett Willis allowed nine goals on 22 shots.
Frys scored the game winner Sunday in double overtime leading Tahoe to a 5-4 victory and a series sweep. Frys has 69 points in 36 games (26 goals, 43 assists).
The Icemen started the scoring in regulation, but the Totems answered back with two to grab their first lead in the series. It would last two minutes, then Tahoe answered back, tying the game at 2 after the first. Each team scored a pair of goals in the second and none in the third.
Totems goaltender Naoki Onodera allowed five goals on 43 shots and Conlan made 33 saves on 37 shots.
Tahoe’s Easton Easterson was given a five-minute major for charging, but that was the only non-minor penalty for either team.
The sweep gives the Icemen momentum heading into their home series against the Bombers that begins Thursday, Jan. 25, and lasts through Saturday, Jan. 27, at South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena, located at 1176 Rufus Allen Blvd. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. for the first two games and at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. Parking is free, there are three beers on tap and all bleacher seating is open. Tickets are $6 with children 6 and younger receiving free admission.
This will be the only time these teams face each other this season.
The Bombers are 25-6-3 overall and are 10-4-1 on the road. They have a plus-74 goal differential. The Icemen are 10-5-2 at home and have scored 159 goals while giving up 158.
Icemen head coach Mickey Lang is optimistic ahead of the series.
“We have to work hard, be good defensively, and when we get our scoring chances, we need to finish,” Lang said.