By Phillip Goodman
January 15, 2023
The Reno Ice Raiders are off to a roaring start in 2023 after throttling the NorCal Stampede 16-3 and 17-2 in front of sold out crowds again at Reno Ice.
In the four games against NorCal going back to last season, Reno (7-4-1) has outscored the Stampede (0-2-0) by a total of 64-10.
On Friday, Nick Anderson (who celebrated his 29th birthday the Thursday prior) had four goals and a helper. Paul Frys had a hatrick plus three assists. Mickey Lang also had a 6 point night in the form of five apples and one goal. He would have had two goals had he executed his 360-degree-spinning Michigan attempt on a third period breakaway.
The highlight goal of the game and possibly the season came off the stick of Matt Robinson with eight minutes to go in the first period. Robinson got his own rebound off a Kenny Beach save, carried the puck behind Beach and then “Matty Robs” managed to pull off a backhand wraparound while falling down. Look for that at the 26:20 mark on the YouTube Cast. Robinson added two more goals both at even strength.
Paul Frys, who celebrates his 25th birthday on Monday, joined the hat trick club with Anderson and Robinson. Andrew Peterson, Julian Hererra, Dana Navratil, James Stiles, and Morgan Ellis found the back of the net as well for Reno.
Every Ice Raider skater earned at least one point, except for Roger Hutchinson who got points on a different scorecard for his knockdown of Cole Diamond in a very honorable third period scrap six minutes into period three.
The Reno faithful packed the house again on Saturday night despite inclement weather and were treated to the Mickey Lang Show in the first period. Lang opened scoring early in the first on a Brewer's Cabinet Power Play by firing a laser through third-stringer Matt Gray. Eighteen seconds later, Lang beat Gray upstairs from the right wing for his second goal. Then to show how balanced an attacker he is, Lang rifled a wrister from the high slot for the natural hat trick.
From there NorCal never had a chance. Reno ballooned the lead to 11-0 until Stampede sub Darren Partyka from Sparks Fire broke Gyori’s shutout bid with a breakaway goal late in the second period.
Lang finished with the double hat trick plus one assist. Julian Herrera had a trick and two helpers. Frys had a goal and three assists. Andrew Peterson added three helpers too. For the second straight game, nearly every Ice Raider contributed at least one point.
Justis Gyori earned both wins in net for Reno with a 93.75 save percentage including 47 minutes of shutout hockey on Friday. Gyori even picked up a power play assist on Jason Scriabin’s goal in the second period of Saturday’s affair. Backup tender Joey Rueckl played Saturday’s third period and stopped 10 of 12 NorCal shots.
Perhaps the strangest play of the Ice Raiders’ Reno existence occurred halfway through the third period with the Ice Raiders up 16-3. Facing a 3-on-0 break lead by Julian Herrera, backup goalie and NorCal club owner Kyle Pruitt intentionally lifted the net off the moorings denying Herrera a chance on net.
Per USA Hockey Rule 610.E: “If the defending team deliberately displaces the goal frame during a breakaway or deprives the attacking team of an immediate scoring opportunity, a penalty shot/optional minor penalty shall be awarded to the player in possession of the puck.”
Herrera was awarded the penalty shot but his slapshot attempt caught Pruitt square in the chest. Watch the bizarre play at the 2:07:00 mark on the YouTube cast.
Big thanks to Maxwell's Barbershop for helping to make these games happen. Maxwell's Barbershop provides expert haircuts, precise beard trims, and close straight razor shaves at fair prices. Maxwell’s Barbershop is open by appointment ONLY Tuesday through Saturday.
NO FRILLS, NO BS. JUST GOOD OLD SCHOOL BARBERING. Maxwell’s Barbershop is on 2nd Street, near Wells, in Downtown Reno and at maxwellsreno.com.
The Ice Raiders have next weekend off and will return to action at Reno Ice for a pair of games against a new foe, Chicago Top Shelf on Jan. 27th and 28th. Tickets will go on sale the weekend of the 21st and will most likely sell out quickly.
Lone Wolf's Chop Rodz Save of the Weekend: Gyori stonewalled Hunter Sine’s early second-period breakaway on Friday preserving the 7-0 lead.
Marked Studios Hit of the Weekend: Adam Barba barreled through Tyler Bush at 11:05 of the first period on Friday
Sierra Sid’s Casino Assist of the Weekend: ALL the Ice Raiders’ can share is this award for a total team effort all weekend.
Friday, 1.13.23 - Game 9: Norcal Stampede @ Reno Ice Raiders Highlights:
Saturday, 1.14.23 - Game 10: Norcal Stampede @ Reno Ice Raiders Highlights: