By Phillip Goodman
January 30, 2023
A new rivalry has formed between the Windy City and Biggest Little City after the Reno Ice Raiders and Chicago Top Shelf split their two-game weekend series. Chicago won on Friday 6-3 then Reno responded with a 5-3 Saturday win. Both games at Reno Ice were standing-room-only sellouts and the packed house was rockin’ and rollin’ each night.
“It was crazy,” said Capt. Peterson after Saturday’s win. “It’s cool having a team like this out because they’re game. They’re down to battle and they’ve got some good players so I’m happy we got the split today.”
Top Shelf’s Cayden Edwards put on a goaltending show on Friday stopping 34 of 37 Reno shots, many of which were high-quality chances. At the other end, Ice Raider netminder Justin Sand did all he could to stop 36 of 41 Chicago shots.
Reno allowed two power play goals on six attempts including giving up a goal on a 2-man disadvantage. Chicago’s sixth goal came on an empty net late in the third when Reno elected to pull Sand for a 6-on-4 power play advantage, a strategy that has worked for Reno in the past.
Mickey Lang had two goals and one assist and Alex Schlueter netted one in the 6-3 loss. Reno could only muster one power play goal in their five attempts.
On Saturday, neither team yielded a goal through 28 minutes of end-to-end action despite a combined 30 shots on net.
The visitors struck first when a 3-on-1 developed quickly in front of Sand after two Chicago forecheckers tripped up the Raider defense behind the net.
Reno responded 90 seconds later when Nick Anderson took Jeff Jiron’s pass at the Chicago blue line, motored around Nick Ustaski, and chipped a perfect shot over Edwards for the 1-1 tie.
The second period floodgates opened on Edwards as Reno would find the back of the net four more times in the frame.
Kevin Sunde found Ramzy Anderson all alone in the slot and the lefty’s wrister beat Edwards stickside for the 2-1 lead.
The Marked Studios Hit of the Night was Tony Tyrell catapulting Ryan Davlantes into the Reno bench, however Davlantes had ceded possession of the puck just long enough for the hit to be deemed interference. On the Peterson Wealth Management Penalty Kill, Nick Anderson picked up a loose puck from Reno’s defensive blue line and stickhandled around the last Top Shelf defender Chris Hassler for a breakaway. Anderson put a fake on Edwards that sent Edwards right so “Ando” went left and slammed home a shorthanded goal for the 3-1 lead.
Chicago still had the power play and they capitalized on a fortunate bounce off the post that sent Sand out of position trying to locate the carom. Jon Stevaonich tapped in an easy goal bringing Chicago within one at 3-2.
A minute later, Stevanovich interfered with an Ice Raider a la Tyrell’s penalty to put Reno on a Brewer's Cabinet Power Play. From the left point, Andrew Peterson sent the puck to Matt Robinson on the half wall and Robinson rifled a pass through the Top Shelf defense to a cutting Andrew Stiles. Stiles’ one-timer beat Edwards five-hole for the 4-2 score.
With 2:18 remaining in the second, Chicago’s Tommy Rachevsky was assessed a 10-minute misconduct and a minor for unsportsmanlike conduct for abuse of officials. From the Reno defensive end, Andrew Peterson sent a laser of a stretch pass to Matt Robinson speeding into Chicago’s zone then “Matty Robs” dusted off Hassler. Robinson’s wrister beat Edwards five-hole for Reno’s second Brewer’s Cabinet Power Play goal and a comfortable 5-2 lead.
Chicago wouldn’t go away quietly though as they pulled to within two with under eight minutes left in the third on Stevanovich’s second goal. Reno warded off a late 6-on-3 Chicago power play to close out the game for the 5-3 win in what was an electrifying game from start to finish. Sand was very sharp in net on Saturday, stopping 41 of 43 Chicago shots.
The true winner this weekend was the Cancer Community Clubhouse, a Northern Nevada non-profit whose mission is to empower the lives of people affected by cancer in Northern Nevada through connection, education, hope, and healing from diagnosis through survivorship.
The Ice Raiders’ lavender jerseys were put up for silent auction which raised nearly $4,000 for the CCC. Many other fans in attendance and on the livestream made contributions directly which you can also do by clicking here.
“A lot of guys on the team have had someone close to them affected by some type of cancer,” said Ice Raiders General Manager Jess Peterson. “Our Team Captain Andrew Peterson had a connection with the Cancer Community Clubhouse. So it worked out that our players loved the idea and we had a relationship with a charity already.”
Up next for the Ice Raiders: a trip to Breckenridge Colorado next weekend for a pair of games.
The Ice Raiders were scheduled to play the NorCal Stampede again on Feb. 17 & 18 however after the lopsided scores a couple weeks ago the teams mutually agreed to nix that series. Emerging from Vegas are the Sin City Kings to fill the slots on the 17th and 18th in Reno. Ticket sales will be announced soon and it’s a safe bet those games will sell out too.
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Landsinger Real Estate Three Stars on Saturday:
No. 3: Andrew Peterson - two assists
No. 2: Matt Robinson - one goal, one assist
No. 1: Nick Anderson - two goals
Look in the Description section of the YouTube vids for quick jumps to these highlights:
Lone Wolf's Chop Rodz Save of the Weekend: Every one of the 40 saves Justin Sand made on Saturday to preserve the win
Marked Studios Hit of the Weekend: Tyrell levels Davlantes
Sierra Sid’s Casino Assists of the Weekend: 01:33:57 Robinson's pass finds Stiles for the power play one timer and 01:21:15 Jeff Jiron threads a pass to Nick Anderson and Ando does work
Friday, 1.27.23 - Game 11: Chicago Top Shelf @ Reno Ice Raiders Highlights:
Saturday, 1.28.23 - Game 12: Chicago Top Shelf @ Reno Ice Raiders Highlights: