Tahoe Icemen take one of four at Western States Shootout in Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS — The Tahoe Icemen hockey team matched its season win total during a four-game span in the WSHL Western States Shootout Dec. 15-18. The Icemen beat Casper Coyotes T3 5-4 at Sobe Ice Arena in their second game at the showcase, part of four contests in four days.
Tahoe’s victory came over Casper on Dec. 16. The Icemen beat the Coyotes in a back and forth contest for their second win of the season.
The Icemen struck 41 seconds after the opening faceoff against Casper, taking a 1-0 lead on a goal from Artsiom Surmach assisted by Cestmir Dolezel III and Edgar Gonzalez. That was the first of six goals in the 25-minute first period — games were played with two periods as part of the showcase format.
Tahoe had a 4-2 lead over the Coyotes at the first intermission, answering its opponents each time. Surmach added a second to make it 2-1 with 13:25 left, and after a Casper goal the Icemen scored twice unanswered — Austin Lykins scored off a Gonzalez assist, then assisted Maksim Akimychau on a tally with 44.5 seconds to play.
Casper scored in the opening minute of the second period, but Tahoe answered when Garrett Boehm scored assisted by Zach Houck just more than a minute later. The Icemen held off the Coyotes for the last 23 minutes to secure the win — goaltender Austin Toussaint stopped 24 shots in net.
In its Western States Shootout opener, Tahoe fell to the Colorado Evolution 5-3 at Sobe Ice Arena on Dec. 15. The Icemen fell in a three-goal hole early in the second period and couldn’t rally en route to defeat.
Tahoe opened the scoring four minutes into the first period when Akimychau found the back of the net assisted by Taylor Garner. But Colorado scored three straight to jump in front, and took a 4-1 lead early in the second period.
Midway through the second, a quick burst but Tahoe within a goal of the Evolution. Kevin Hodsdon scored off assists from Phillipe Pepin and Gonzalez with 14:37 left, and 51 seconds later Surmach made it 4-3 assisted by Zach Forrest.
With 11.4 seconds left to play, Colorado iced the game with an empty net goal. The Evolution won three of their four games at the showcase after entering with a 1-17-0-4 record.
In its third game, Tahoe lost 4-1 to the Arizona Hawks at Las Vegas Ice Center on Dec. 17. The Icemen were outshot four to one in the defeat, and were held scoreless in the first period.
Arizona led 1-0 at the first intermission, and added to its advantage with a goal with 16:37 left to play. Tahoe’s lone goal of the contest came from Surmach off assists from Garner and Gonzalez 50 seconds later, but the Hawks closed out the Icemen with a pair of goals unanswered.
Tahoe concluded play at the showcase with a 4-1 loss to the San Diego Sabers at Las Vegas Ice Center on Dec. 18. After scoring first, the Icemen allowed four straight goals in a defeat that dropped their season record to 2-25.
Akimychau got Tahoe on the board first in its finale, scoring off assists from Garner and Austin Naylor with 18:53 left in the first period. San Diego scored a pair of goals in the last five minutes of the frame and added two more in the second to send the Icemen to defeat.
Tahoe (2-25) currently sits in last place in the WSHL Northwest Division, five points behind Butte (3-26-0-3). The Icemen travel to play the Cobras in a three-game series starting Friday, Jan. 8.
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