The Northwest Icemen earned a tie at Altoona in conference action, then recorded a shutout victory over Tomahawk last week.
The local boys hockey co-op squad, now 4-5-1 overall and 0-3-1 in Middle Border play, was vying for an elusive first ever league win while hosting Amery (10-3, 3-1) at Cumberland on Tuesday, Jan. 11.
The Icemen will head to Tomah (3-10) on Saturday, then return to league play against Baldwin-Woodville (9-3, 3-1) at Barron on Tuesday, Jan. 18.
Icemen 3, RAM 3
The Icemen were in Altoona on Thursday, Jan. 6, taking on the co-op squad from Regis, Altoona, Bloomer and McDonell (RAM).
The hosts struck first with an even strength goal in the first period, but Dylan Capra answered 11:22 into the second stanza.
“We didn’t start the game like we wanted, but I was happy with how we responded,” coach Curtis Cutsforth said. “We hung in there and weathered the storm. It was great to see Dylan get his first varsity goal to tie the game up; his line followed his lead and skated hard all night.”
The third period was a whirlwind. Cameron’s Hayden Hince put the Icemen up 3-2 at the 4:46 mark with help from Barron senior Gavin Gordon, but RAM answered in just 24 seconds.
Gordon then found the back of the net on the power play at the 6:22 mark with an assist from Nathan Kallsen, scoring the game’s third goal in a span of one minute, 36 seconds.
It appeared the Icemen lead might hold after the scoring frenzy, but RAM knotted the game at 3-3 with just 1:49 to play in regulation.
The Icemen pressured the RAM net through two overtime periods but just couldn’t score the winning goal.
“Going into overtime has never been a preferred position for this team to be in, but I was happy on how we skated,” Cutsforth said. “We had plenty of chances to take the game in overtime but couldn’t capitalize on them.
“In two overtime periods, we only allowed four shots on goal as compared to getting the puck to their net 18 times.”
For the game, the Icemen had a 50-48 edge in shots on net, despite RAM holding a 15-3 advantage in the opening period. The Icemen served four penalties and RAM six, but Gordon had the only power-play goal. Cumberland’s Connor Morrison played in net for the Icemen. His counterpart was Alex Erickson of Regis.
Icemen 4, Tomahawk 0
There was less stress for the Icemen faithful in Northwest’s next game. Morrison made 30 saves at Cumberland on Saturday afternoon as the Icemen recorded a 4-0 win over the 4-6 Tomahawk Hatchets.
“Connor had a fantastic game and posted a shutout for the team,” Cutsforth said. “Some of the saves he made in the afternoon were nothing short of incredible.
“Gavin Gordon had a good afternoon, posting two goals; the first being the eventual game winner. Cale Cleveland and Mason Seifert both ended the game with a goal and an assist. Mason’s goal was the first varsity goal of his career.”
Northwest had a 38-30 shooting edge for the game, Andrew Samundsen making 34 saves for the Hatchets. The Icemen were whistled three times – including two penalties in the third period – but kept the shutout intact. The Hatchets served just two minutes for a third period slash.
Gordon scored the game winning goal at the 13:47 mark of the first period off a Calvin Field assist. The home club added two goals in the second period and iced the game with Seifert’s strike late in the third.