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Ice Raiders De-Throne Kings, 12-1 & 6-3

Updated: Feb 2

By Phillip Goodman

January 29, 2024

The Reno Ice Raiders Hockey Club de-throned the Sin City Kings with a 12-1 rout on Friday and a 6-3 nailbiter on Saturday in the first home games of 2024 at The Jennifer M. O’Neal Community Ice Arena. The games presented by Maxwell's Barbershop sold out in less than 24 hours and the packed house of fans were hungry for hockey after 41 days away from action.

On Friday, Reno defenseman Weston Nash led all scorers with a hat trick. Mickey Lang was the leading point getter with four assists. Every other skater for Reno earned at least one point on the scoresheet as Reno bombarded the Kings with 122 shots attempts with 63 hitting the four-by-six.

It took half of the first period for the two teams to feel each other out. With no score after 11 minutes, the Ice Raiders found themselves shorthanded. A bad zone entry by the Kings led to an easy breakout for Reno. Alex Gunnoe's outlet found Lang then Lang fed Hunter Sine cutting through the middle. Sine's top shelf wrister gave Reno the 1-0 lead on the shorthanded goal. 

Only 38 seconds later, Weston Nash Scored his first of the night after a mad scramble in front of the Sin City crease. Lang's cross ice pass found an open Nash and Nash's laser beat Zac Jordan stick side for the 2-0 lead.

The Kings tried to take some momentum back late in the first period. Tyler Bush blocked Adam Barba's shot at the Sin City blue line and motored through for a breakaway. Justin Sand stood tall in net thwarting the breakaway for the Lone Wolf's Chop Rodz Save of the Weekend. The Ice Raiders went into the locker room with a 2-0 lead.

The second stanza was much like the first with no scoring for the first eight minutes. After a scrum in front of Jordan caused flared tempers, Reno pressed after the faceoff. Simon Le Bleu put the puck on a tee for Jeff Jiron and the patented Jiron Bomb blasted past Jordan for the 3-0 Reno lead. From there, Reno dominated the period and the game. 

Jake Minton, a childhood friend and teammate of Johnny Garrity, punched home a Julian Herrera rebound 26 seconds later for the 4-0 score. On the night, "Minty" owned the faceoff circle winning 14 of 18 draws.

Sam Shayesteh of the frustrated Kings attempted to rile up his troops by dropping the gloves with Tony Tyrell in a rematch of last season's bout. Tyrell stung Shayesteh with a hard right to end the bout. The ploy backfired and Reno landed three strikes in 73 seconds. Simon Le Bleu's tap-in goal, Alex Gunnoe's wrister, and Morgan Ellis' slapshot ended a five-goal frame for Reno.

Zoran Saavedra got the Kings on the board 90 seconds into the last period with a redirect on the crease but that was the only mistake Sand allowed on the night. At the

other end, King goaltender Zac Jordan did not enter the crease for the third period after yielding seven goals on 38 shots. Joey Bullock entered the net only to face a continued relentless attack by Reno.

Reno was successful on all four Peterson Wealth Management Penalty Kills on the night plus 3-for-8 on Brewer's Cabinet Power Plays.

Ice Raiders' head coach Tim Tookey wanted a quicker start from his Raiders on Saturday and he got that. Only 2:17 in, Johnny Garrity's wrister from the high slot beat Vincent Sorgentoni high for the 1-0 lead, assists to Julian Herrera and Tyrell on the quick outlet and entry.

Neither team yielded any ground for most of the period. During a Reno line change, Gunnoe carried the puck around every white jersey and his initial shot was saved by Sorgentoni, drawing the King goalie out of position. Montgomery was able to backhand the rebound over Sorgentoni for the 2-0 lead.

In the waning seconds of the first, a pass from the corner ran off Gyori's glove to a wide open Austin Quirt who lifted the puck upstairs, cutting the lead to 2-1.

The Kings carried that late momentum into the second, getting quick strikes 41 and 54 seconds into the period on rebounds off Gyori that came to open Kings. Coach Tookey called his only timeout to wake up the team's defense and it worked. 

From there Reno shutdown the Kings' offense and played far better in front of Gyori. Halfway through the period, Tony Tyrell caught the Kings in a bad change and carried the puck up the boards for a 3-on-1 break. Tyrell fed Hunter Sine who showed incredible patience in the slot and beat Sorgentoni to tie the game at 3-3.

After a successful Peterson Wealth Management Penalty Kill, the Ice Raiders worked the puck around the boards. From behind the net Alex Gunnoe found Jake Minton in front who put back his own rebound up top for the 4-3 lead with nine minutes to play.

With Reno on the penalty kill, Weston Nash knocked down a Kings pass and sprung Hunter Sine for breakaway. Sine sniped over the glove of Sorgentoni for the shorthanded goal at 16:44 and 6-3 final score.

Neither team scored a power play goal on Saturday, Reno was 0-for-3 and Kings 0-for-4. The Ice Raiders firing squad was again too much for Sin City. Reno launched 103 shot attempts on Saturday with 50 finding the net - a weekend total of 225 attempts and 113 shots on goal. Justis Gyori earned the win by stopping 17 of 20 shots.

Minton was again the king of the faceoff circles going 16-8 to lead all skaters. Fagergren was second at 59% going 13-9.

The Ice Raiders will take one weekend off then head to New York City for a pair of games against the Fire Department of New York. Two weeks after that Reno looks for revenge at home against the Breckenridge Vipers. The Vipers swept Reno in Breckenridge in mid-January in two penalty-riddled contests. Tickets for the Feb. 23rd & 24th series presented by TNT Yard Service will go on sale the weekend of Feb. 17.

Friday's LT Automotive Three Stars of the Game

1. Weston Nash (D) - 3G, 6 Shots, +4

2. Simon LeBleu (F) - 2G, 1A, 3 Shots, +2

3. Charlie Montgomery (F) - 2G, 5 Shots, +2

Saturday's LT Automotive Three Stars of the Game

1. Hunter Sine - 2G, 1A, +3

2. Jake Minton - 1G, 1A, +2, 66% FOW

3. Austin Quirt (Sin City) - 2G

Friday, 1.26.24 - Game 9: Reno Ice Raiders vs. Sin City Kings Highlights:

Saturday, 1.27.24 - Game 10: Reno Ice Raiders vs. Sin City Kings Highlights:


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