Tahoe Icemen fall to Idaho IceCats in series opener
The Lake Tahoe Icemen battled from behind all night, Thursday, Feb. 1, against the Northwest Division-leading Idaho IceCats, but could never get even after surrendering a pair of first-period goals.
And finally, the dam broke in the third period turning a close match into a rout.
The IceCats pulled away with four goals in the final eight minutes for a 9-4 victory at South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena in the first match of a three-game serires. The second game was played Friday night, Feb. 2, and the finale will be played at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3.
Icemen forward Paul Frys extended his point-scoring streak to 19 games and completed a hat trick in the third period. He added an assist and now has 82 points in 40 games this season. Frys is the eighth leading scorer in the entire Western States Hockey League with 34 goals and 48 assists.
After trailing 2-0 at the end of the first period, Icemen forward Phillip Heisse III put Lake Tahoe on the board with a shot from distance just seconds into a power play. Ilja Cetvertak and Frys assisted.
Cetvertak added another assist 90 seconds later on Frys’ first goal, which narrowed the IceCats lead to 3-2. Both Icemen goals came on the power play.
Idaho scored a pair of goals in the final three minutes of the second to take the wind out of the Icemen’s sails and lead 5-2 heading into the third.
Frys scored his second goal a few minutes into the third off assists from Heisse III and Mitch Hunt. But the IceCats iced the game away with three consecutive goals. Frys got his hat trick with about 90 second remaining.
Icemen goalie Artur Pavliukov made 49 saves while his team put 33 shots on the IceCat net. Justin Baehr and Mitch Webb had assists for the Icemen.
The IceCats had 36 minutes in penalties and the Icemen had 27.
The Icemen (20-17-3) remain tied for second place in the Northwest Division with the West Sound Warriors (21-19-1) with 43 points, 22 points behind the IceCats (32-4-1)
After the series finale, the Icemen will host just one more series this season, Feb. 9-11, against the Southern Oregon Spartans.