Tahoe Icemen make progress in two-game series against Vancouver | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Tahoe Icemen make progress in two-game series against Vancouver

Anthony Gentile
Tahoe forward Phillipe Pepin drives toward the net in the Icemen’s WSHL contest against Vancouver on Saturday, Oct. 10, at South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena.
Anthony Gentile / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — The Tahoe Icemen hockey team couldn’t break through for a victory against Vancouver in a two-game series at South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena Oct. 9-10, but continued to make progress. The Icemen were swept by the visiting Rangers, leaving them winless in 10 games this season.

“We did some new things and the kids came out with great intensity,” Icemen head coach Tom Maroste said. “We’ve come a long way and we’re going to get better.”

After a decisive loss to open the set, Tahoe bounced back in the series finale on Saturday, Oct. 10. The Icemen fell to Vancouver 9-4, unable to maintain a hot start en route to defeat.

“We played 50 hard minutes and we gave them the last 10 minutes,” Maroste said. “We slowed down some.”

Tahoe made the most of its early scoring chances in Saturday’s contest and took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission. The Icemen opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal from Phillipe Pepin with 12:51 left in the first period, and they added to their lead on a wrist shot by Artsiom Surmach seven minutes later.

“We started shooting the puck. When you start shooting the puck, you do score,” Maroste said. “We had them on their heels; we had them running.”

Vancouver got on the board early in the second period, and Tahoe answered when Kevin Hodsdon put in a shot from a scramble in front of net to make it 3-1 with 13:26 left in the frame. The Rangers scored three straight goals to take the lead before the Iceman tied the contest on a goal from Maksim Akimychau — the Belarusian scored from his knees to pull the Icemen even.

Akimychau’s goal made it 4-4 with 4:32 left in the second period, and it looked like Tahoe would head into the intermission even with Vancouver. But the visitors retook the lead with 1:15 left in the frame, then added four goals unanswered in the third period to win going away.

“That’s where you have to take the next step, get that lead back and then make them scramble again,” Maroste said.

Midway through the third period, Tahoe trailed 6-4 and missed a great opportunity to make it a one-goal game. The Icemen had a two-on-none breakaway thwarted by a save from Vancouver goaltender Max Elmgren. Two minutes later the Rangers scored the first of three goals to close out the game.

“We needed to bury the puck on that breakaway,” Maroste said. “At 6-5, it would have been a different game — but we didn’t score.”

In the series opener on Friday, Oct. 9, Tahoe suffered a 16-2 defeat against Vancouver. Colton Lanzowski and John Moffat scored for the Icemen in the loss.

Tahoe (0-10) returns to action Friday, Oct. 16 for a three-game series at league-leading Missoula (7-0). The Icemen’s next home series is against Idaho Oct. 23-25.

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