Updated: Jan 19
by Phillip Goodman
The Reno Ice Raiders opened their regular-season home schedule with a hard-fought 4-3 loss to the Santa Rosa Growlers on Saturday night in front of a capacity crowd at Reno Ice.
Reno Ice Raiders Jeff Jiron and Nicholas Anderson scored 38 seconds apart in the final minute of the third period but the late push wasn’t enough to solve Growler goaltender Dominic Jones, who held the Ice Raiders scoreless through more than two periods of play.
Andrew Peterson also tallied a goal mid-way through the second period only to have it called off by the referee’s for a delayed penalty.
At the other end of the ice, Al Taylor did all he could to keep it close for the Ice Raiders by coming up with huge stops on the penalty kill. The Ice Raiders killed seven of nine penalties including three minutes of major time halfway through the third period.
Reno had plenty of chances on their own power play but went 0-for-7 with the man advantage. It was Jones that really stole the show to secure the Growlers’ win.
Santa Rosa jumped out to a 3-0 lead, netting an even strength goal in the first period and two power play goals in the second. Sam Maninci of the Ice Raiders broke Jones’ shutout with 12:29 remaining in the third to bring the Ice Raiders within reach at 3-1.
Lane Beliveau rifled a wrister over Al Taylor’s pads for a shorthanded goal with under two minutes to play in the third for the 4-1 Growler lead. Anderson scored with 56.5 to play and with Taylor pulled from the net Jiron and company netted their final goal with 18.6 remaining. Growlers were able to clear the puck on the ensuing face off to hold on for the 4-3 win.
Shane Hicke, Head Coach of the Reno Ice Raiders, had his thoughts on the game. “We finally played our way in the third, but it was too little too late. We put them on the man advantage way too many times. Two of their goals came on special teams, meanwhile we failed to convert any of our power play opportunities. Our guys just weren’t as disciplined as they needed to be, staying out of the penalty box is the mantra. We gave the game a way we felt we should have won. Hats off to Santa Rosa though, great game and a top notch team.”