The Milwaukee Power split their two homes games this past week with a win over the Oregon Tradesmen on Thursday and a heart wrenching one goal loss to the Wausau Cyclones on Saturday.
Thursday’s game with the Tradesmen was one of the Power’s best games of the season. Spencer Northway would get the start in net for Milwaukee and Anthony Adleman for Oregon. The 1st period saw only a few penalties and neither side was able to capitalize with the man advantage. While it took nearly the entire period to crack open the scoring the Power got off to a hot start keeping the pressure on the Tradesmen in their own zone and bringing a compete level to get the puck back before Oregon could cross the red line. Nate Stone would give Milwaukee the lead with just under three minutes remaining, Riley Planey would log the lone assist.
The 2nd period would follow a similar script to the first as Stone would score again late in the frame with the primary assist coming from Planey and the secondary credited to Easton Nick. The 3rd period would shake things up as Mason Ausmus would score early to put the Power up by three goals, the lone assist would go to Nick. Five minutes in to the period the Tradesmen would be given a penalty shot which Henry Slager would score on to cut the difference to two. Connor O’Neal would score on the power play with two and a half minutes remaining to put Milwaukee up by three, Chris McGauran with the assist. With nine seconds remaining Gage Bowerman would score to make the final 4-2 in favor of Milwaukee.
On Saturday the Cyclones came to Milwaukee to face the Power for the first time since October 3rd. These two teams were only separated by three points in the standings for the final playoff spot that they will battle for over the final third of the season. Milwaukee would start Northway again in goal and Wausau would go with Zach Dosan.
It was the Cyclones that got off to the quick start as Hayden Shoemake and Gage Vierzba would both score just over a minute apart before the halfway point of the 1st. With nine minutes remaining Ben Cremers would score shorthanded to get Milwaukee back within one goal, O’Neal and Ausmus were credited with assists. With just over two minutes left Vierzba would score again to put the score 3-1 at the end of the 1st.
The Cyclones would continue to stretch their lead early in the 2nd period with a goal from Cullen Moehring. Power defenseman Konrad Clements would respond with his first NA3HL goal nearly two minutes later, Planey was credited with the assist. The Cyclones would score again with just over three minutes remaining, this time it was Nolan Gifford shorthanded and Milwaukee would pull Northway to put Austin Bartell in goal. With the goalie change Milwaukee would capitalize on the power play just 35 seconds later and Nick went end to end to feed Michael Dalaly to cut the Wausau lead back to two. Nick wasn’t done in the period though as just a minute later he would score unassisted to get Milwaukee to within one goal at the 2nd intermission.
The Power would continue their surge into the 3rd as Dalaly threw Ausmus open in the neutral zone to slip by the Wausau defensemen and score to tie the game. The score would remain unchanged until the final minute as Milwaukee was unable to clear the puck out of the slot leading to the game winning goal from Wesley Coquet.
The Power have shown the ability to hang with the top teams in the division all season long but have struggled to get off to quick starts. They have also struggled to play a consistent 60 minutes of hockey. Heading down the stretch they will need to find a way to consistently start and play like they did against Oregon on Thursday in order to make the post season for the first time since 2019. The Power are on the road for the next three weekends with an important series in Wausau before coming back home on February 12th.