The Milwaukee Power were back at home to play host for two games with the Peoria Mustangs. The Power were coming off of their worst loss from the previous weekend against Oregon and looking to snap a five game skid. The Mustangs are in the middle of a long set of road trips and were coming off being swept in Rochester.
On Friday night the Power would start Spencer Northway in net while the Mustangs sent out newly signed goaltender Andrew Doran. Peoria didn’t take long to grab the lead as Jaycob Bland’s deflected over Northway’s shoulder to score just 58 seconds into the opening frame. The Mustangs would increase their lead to two just four minutes later as Connor Bruns recorded his first NA3HL goal as he was thrown open behind the Power defense. Milwaukee was being heavily outshot but Northway would keep them in the contest.
Midway through the second period the Peoria would score again off of a tipped shot this time by Perry Lagatuz with nine minutes remaining. With just under three minutes to go another goal came off of a redirect from the stick of Thomas Kayner to make it a four goal lead. Both offenses would be silent in the third period and Doran would claim his first win and shutout in his first start facing 27 shots. Northway stopped 42 out of 46 shots and was a big part of keeping the deficit from being extended further which earned him the Coach’s Pub N’ Grill Hard Hat Player of the Game.
Northway has never been one to shy away from a challenge and would get the start again for Milwaukee on Saturday. After Doran’s shutout performance on Friday one might think he would have been back in net for Peoria but instead Nahuel Veyan would make his second start of the season.
The first period was full of penalties and a five minute major and game misconduct that saw Nate Stone and Tristan Trudel off to early showers. With a key player out of the lineup for both sides the offenses remained silent for the majority of the first but Peoria would crack the scoreboard first as Ethan Chesney slipped around the Power defensemen for a point blank shot. The Power would respond immediately as Easton Nick would snap a shot from the right circle to beat Veyan glove side less than 30 seconds later to tie the game, Connor O’Neal and Cam Dahl would record the assists.
Tied after the first the score would remain that way until with just over nine minutes left in the second Christopher Kondiles would score a shorthanded goal off a rebound created by a two on one rush. Even though the Mustangs had the lead they were not as dominant in their shot count and puck possession as the night before. They would carry a one goal lead into the second intermission.
Milwaukee had to start the third period on the penalty kill which was the best part of their game in the series as they did not give up a power play goal to Peoria. Once back to full strength the Power would tie the game as Michael Dalaly would dig the puck off the wall and find Ben Cremers to put it into the crease where it would be swiped in to the Peoria net by one of their own sticks. With the game tied the tension in the arena rose with every shot on net and loose rebound out of the goaltenders reach. Peoria would take a late penalty to give Milwaukee a power play chance that would cary over into overtime.
With time ticking down it looked like this game was headed to a shootout as long as the Power could hold on with the face-off coming in their zone. Dalaly was able to win the draw and Max Erstad sprung loose as he carried from the top of the circles all the way to the Mustang’s slot where he settled the puck on his forehand to beat Veyan blocker side to snap their losing streak. Northway would claim his third win after stopping 30 out 32 shots and playing nearly 125 minutes in the pipes in 24 hours time. He would be named the Master Printwear 1st Star of the Game. Erstad’s heroics would net him the 2nd Star and Ben Cremers game tying goal got him the 3rd Star. After being injured in the final minute of the first period Colin McMahon would return for the rest of the game logging some key shifts on defense which earned him the honor of the Coach’s Pub Hard Hat Player of the Game.
The Power look to ride this momentum into the home and home series they have coming up with the Oregon Tradesmen. The Bolts look to dish out some payback for their previous loss in Oregon and to climb back up in the division standings. The puck drops at 7:40PM on Thursday night at the Ozaukee Ice Center.