I wasn't at the game in Melfort, so I was relying on the excellent updates by Branden Crowe from the Palace. Sounds like it was a much better game, if only just from the score. That was to be expected when the Wolves entered four of their veterans into the mix.
Skyler Hladun and Aaron Enns didn't waste much time getting on the scoresheet. They got the Wolves ahead 1-0 only 15 seconds into the second frame. Since I didn't see the goal I can only imagine Enns toe-dragging through all three Mustangs forwards and passing to Hladun who ran over the defencemen and deked the goaltender out of his gear. Or something like that. Okay nothing like that, but it's good to see them get in the points column right away.
Alex Rajotte got the start in his brilliant red and yellow Drakkar pads. If we assume, he played the first 30 minutes and Myles Hovdebo got the back half, then it's possible Rajotte played a perfect 30. Again, I don't have all the info.
The Mustangs evened it up late in the second as Brett Tofarenko picked up the marker. I'm sure it was a dazzling display of goal scoring prowess, likely with a spin-o-rama mixed in somewhere. 1-1 after two periods with the Ice Wolves leading in the shots department 24-13.
The third period continued on much like the rest of the game, tied. Until, with 1:32 remaining in regulation, Landon Belchamber put a dagger in the Wolves road hopes and gave the Mustangs a 2-1 lead. Mitch Berg picked up the assist, at which point Ice Wolves fans reading this are going, "Mitch Berg is still on the Mustangs? I thought he aged out last year?" Nope. Still around and causing problems for the Wolves in the pre-season.
The Ice Wolves finished the contest with a 35-25 edge in the shot department which is definitely a positive number as that makes two games in a row where they've outshot the Mustangs. Also positive, the Wolves didn't lose by five. The pre-season is all about improvement and the process of getting the team ready for the Regular Season.
The Wolves open against the Nipawin Hawks this Friday at 7:30. So if you've been putting off buying your season tickets, now's the time to get them. I believe they're printed ready to go so you can get your hands on them right when you buy them. I'm not positive of that, though.
I'm hoping to get in touch with Bob Beatty today or tomorrow at which point I can kind update you on the goings on around the team. In the meantime, continue patiently, or impatiently waiting for hockey season to begin.
P.S. If I fall off the face of the Earth over the next few days (including not showing up to work, Kelly) it's because NHL 12 comes out Tuesday and lets be honest, the online team I play on takes precedence over most basic points of living.