Weekend Preview 10.31.19
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GAMES ON THE SLATE
West Sound Admirals vs. Southern Oregon Spartans
West Sound Admirals vs. Utah Outliers
The West Sound Admirals will face the Southern Oregon Spartans for one game tomorrow, and three times against the Utah Outliers from Friday to Sunday.
The Admirals have dropped their first two games against the Spartans earlier this season losing 5-4 and 6-3 in Medford. The Spartans will make the trip up to Washington to return the favor and hopefully get back on the win column after being swept by Ogden.
West Sound and Southern Oregon are slated to play six more times in the season.
West Sound needs a win, and fast, being only one of two remaining teams without any points. They will need to find it, if not against the Spartans, than the Utah Outliers.
Utah has never faced the Admirals, but go into the series as favorites having stormed through the Wranglers, who as reference are the other team without any points.
Southern Oregon Spartans vs. Seattle Totems
The Southern Oregon Spartans will continue on their Washington State tour and face the Seattle Totems at Olympicview Arena. Seattle hasn’t faced the Spartans this season but go back in dominating fashion when looking at the 2018-2019 season series.
The Totems won 11 of 12 games against the Spartans dropping a single 7-2 loss but scoring a total of 60 goals in the season series compared to the Spartan’s 32. Seattle is coming off two wins over the Bellingham Blazers and appear to want to keep the momentum going until they have to face Provincial Division teams on home soil in a couple weeks.
Of note, Seattle Totems forward, Michele Vignoli, will be playing against his former team having registered 16G-29A-45Pts. for the Spartans last year.
El Paso Rhinos vs. Pueblo Bulls
The series continues between the Rhinos and Bulls who just got done with each other last weekend. Although El Paso ended up sweeping the weekend, Pueblo boasted a valiant effort and had the Rhinos on their heels at times.
Losing 4-1, 6-3, and 5-3, the Bulls got better each game leaving everybody anxious for the rematch series in Pueblo this weekend. Looking back at the last series, Pueblo will want to play like they did on Sunday when they tied it twice and almost gave themselves a chance at the lead.
They will not get there by conceding 15 goals in three games and this is where the Bulls will have to tighten things up as they showed they can produce offensively against El Paso. So far, the Pueblo Bulls are writing quite the story as they approach their 13th game of the season in the top three of their division.
Where some veteran teams have struggled against the Rhinos early on, the Bulls have a shot at being the first expansion team to defeat a back-to-back champion.
Ogden Mustangs vs. Las Vegas Thunderbirds
Both expansion teams will have a chance to prove themselves and the Thunderbirds will attempt it against the Ogden Mustangs. This will be the first time these two teams face although the Thunderbirds have players with experience against Ogden in the five former Long Beach Bombers.
The Mustangs will pay Sobe Ice Arena a visit for three games in Las Vegas—not a bad road destination.
One undefeated record will fall as the Mustangs are 11-0-0-0 and the Thunderbirds are 8-0-0-0. This will be Ogden’s second Western Division opponent after they swept Ontario earlier in the season.
On the other hand, Las Vegas has defeated every Western Division opponent and will face their first cross-division rival in the Mustangs.
Hinton Timberwolves vs. Barrhead Bombers
Hinton Timberwolves vs. Meadow Lake Mustangs
The Bombers have a bone to pick with the Timberwolves because they haven’t been able to defeat them so far. The Timberwolves have found four wins over the Bombers including an 11-1 beating on Oct. 11 at the Murray Rec. Center.
The Bombers have had a tough stretch losing their last four and haven’t won against another Provincial Division opponent other than Cold Lake. So far, the Timberwolves have potted 28 goals in four games against the Bombers whereas Barrhead has only generated seven goals on Hinton.
Hinton recently made the move to acquire Kolter Pawlick who returns to the league but not with the Bellingham Blazers. He joins former Blazers teammate, Jamahl Eakett.
The Timberwolves also meet the Meadow Lake Mustangs for the second time this season after besting them to a 13-1 victory. This time, Hinton will travel to the District Rec. Center in Saskatchewan for two meetings against the Mustangs. The T-wolves are setting the bar higher and higher in the Provincial Division having defeated each team including the Edson Aeros.
The Mustangs will need to put special attention to Jamahl Eakett who had seven points against them including a hat-trick the last time they played.
Edson Aeros vs. Cold Lake Hornets
The Cold Lake Hornets are coming off their first win of the season after beating the Meadow Lake Mustangs on a Tuesday, matinee showdown. The Hornets found the 8-5 win and avenged their previous loss to the Mustangs from Oct. 12.
Now, the Hornets seek to displease the Edson Aeros in their first meeting of the season scheduled for Friday and Saturday at the Cold Lake Energy Centre. The Aeros got done scoring 31 goals against their opponents last weekend and will try to carry over the same punch against the Hornets.
Of note, the Aeros are currently on a seven game win streak that started on Oct. 13 against the Timberwolves.
Oklahoma City Blazers vs. Dallas Snipers
A well-tested Dallas Snipers squad will host the undefeated Oklahoma City Blazers for two games. The first game will be at the StarCenter and the second game will be at the Allen American Events Center to open up for the Allen Americans. The Blazers took eight of nine games from the Snipers in 2018-2019 including a seven game win streak after dropping the one loss.
The Blazers are 6-0-0-0 but only faced the Wichita Jr. Thunder in those games whereas the Snipers have played three teams in El Paso Rhinos, Northern Colorado Eagles and Pueblo Bulls.
Dallas has earned at least a win or one point in all of their series thus far; with a shootout loss to the Rhinos being the point that saved them from a total sweep of points that week.
Oklahoma has proven it has the ability to score with 52 goals in favor compared to Dallas’ 29.
San Diego Sabers vs. Ontario Avalanche
The Sabers will visit the Avalanche in their seventh game of the season already with the Sabers only winning two and the Avalanche four. In the series, Ontario has been able to win both on the road and at home compared to San Diego who hasn’t won at Anaheim Ice.
The Sabers hosted Ontario at the Icoplex last week and moved past them with a 3-1 score. San Diego’s fortune at Anaheim Ice, however, hasn’t fared well but they will need to force it if they want to build a streak over Ontario who are three points ahead of them.
San Diego won’t overtake the No. 3 spot with a win as they only have one game this weekend and Ontario has the chance to rack up six more points with two extra games against the Valencia Flyers.
Ontario has scored 16 times in three games versus San Diego when playing at Anaheim Ice this season.
Steamboat Wranglers vs. Northern Colorado Eagles
The Steamboat Wranglers, are one of two teams without any points, and like West Sound, need a couple points to stay up to pace with the league. The Northern Colorado Eagles have faltered once this season to a bottom half team therefore the Wranglers will need to study Wichita's efforts from Oct. 18.
Even if they don't want to, Steamboat will need to get comfortable and familiar with the Eagles as they will play the next five games against each other with two games this weekend at the Greeley Ice Hause. The remaining three games will resume next week at the Howelsen Ice Complex in Steamboat Springs.
The Eagles defeated the Wranglers three times in 2018-2019 scoring 30 goals and only allowing four.
Valencia Flyers vs. Ontario Avalanche
The Valencia Flyers were able to take a deep breath when they defeated the Ontario Avalanche last weekend. The Flyers were sitting on an eight game losing streak at home that snapped when they beat the Avalanche. It was the first of nine meetings between the Western Division squads.
Valencia will hope for the same outcome but will need to get their road legs ready for two games at Anaheim Ice this weekend. It will be the start of a five game road trip that includes three games in West Valley City versus the Utah Outliers next week.
This is only Valencia's second road game of the season since their first game of 2019-2020 when they beat the Sabers in San Diego.
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