The Ice Wolves got the start they were looking for in Humboldt. They played a nearlyperfect road period and were rewarded with a lead heading into the second period. Thesecond was not quite so solid. Mistakes were once again the name of the game synthesisIce Wolves have up the puck a few times in their own end or at the blue line resulting ijgoals. When it was all said and done, the Wolves fell 5-1 to the Broncos.
Aside from a couple of gaffes, the first period was a brilliant start by the Wolves. Theyweathered a couple of storms from the Broncos and just kept their pressure up whilemaking smart passes on the breakout and in the offensive zone. The Wolves would reapthe benefits of their hard work when Graham Smerek and Skyler Hladun teamed up towork the puck to Matt Weisensel who fired a seeing eye shot around Hladun to beatDeven Dubyk for his first SJHL goal. The marker coming late in the frame set theWolves up for success in the second, but they didn't capitalize.
A different Ice Wolves team showed up for the second period. More akin to the squad Iwatched in Flin Flon than the team that had just played a fantastic road period. Thegiveaways were the key in the second. I'm sounding like a broken record, but this couldhave been a winnable game for the Ice Wolves if not for the mistakes made. Give creditto the Broncos, because they are certainly a team that will take advantage of any errorsbecause any line can score. That was demonstrated in this game as three different linesfactored in on the second period scoresheet.
After allowing four in the second period, and a fifth shortly after the commencement ofthe third, the Wolves were all but done. That said, they battled all the way to the finalbuzzer. That's something that impresses me about this team. Since that tough road trip tostart the season, the Wolves haven't given up in any game where they've been behind.The effort is always there.
I'll wrap up this quick recap with Alex Rajotte. He played fantastic tonight, which willcertainly be overshadowrd by the five goals allowed. In the battle of former MajorJunior backups, he was the stronger goalie tonight. If not for some downright heroicsaves by Rajotte in the third, this game may well have wrapped up in the double digits.
1. Joey Davies (F) - HBLT - 2 G
2. Alex Rajotte (G) - LR - 26 Saves
3. Ryan Marshall (F) - HBLT - 1 G, 1 A
The Wolves continue their journey South to face the Notre Dame Hounds. Having lost 3in a row and now 7 in a row on the road, it will be a new type of chore to defeat theHounds on their home ice. There will be a lot more space for the Wolves to cover incase of a costly giveaway, so it will need to be a full 60 of hockey like the first periodagainst Humboldt.
I'll have the call of the game starting with the pre-game show at 7: 45.