This weekend, the Power headed to Wausau, Wisconsin for a two-game series against the Cyclones. The two teams have faced each other three times this season, and although Milwaukee has only won once, both of Wausau’s wins have been one-goal deficits. Their last matchup occurred on Jan. 15 – the Power’s latest home game since playing six on the road. Milwaukee made a strong comeback in the second period, scoring three goals to tie up the game. Unfortunately, the Cyclones picked up a late goal in the third and left the weekend with a 6-5 win. Both teams are still on the hunt for that last playoff spot and their determination showed during these two games.
On Friday night, Milwaukee started rookie goaltender Kaden Grant, who recently signed to play with the Power next season. The Cyclones were off to a quick start, scoring less than three minutes into the game. While this was the only goal of the period, the Power had some great opportunities to tie it up and kept Wausau in check. The second period was scoreless and only one penalty was called, but the Cyclones were beginning to outshoot the Power.
After a slow 40 minutes of hockey, Milwaukee was able to shake things up during the third thanks to an unassisted goal by Mason Ausmus. Now with a tie game, it was crunch time to try and take the upper hand, and Wausau wasted no time getting back on top. Just three minutes after the Power goal, the Cyclones capitalized on the power play and took back their lead. Milwaukee unfortunately couldn’t make a comeback and fell short 2-1.
Looking to redeem themselves from the night before, the Power switched things up and started Spencer Northway between the pipes. This time around, Milwaukee had the stronger start; just two minutes into the game, Vince Palade gave the Power an early 1-0 lead. Connor O’Neal and Dominic Martinetti were credited for the assists. Forcing the Cyclones into their own zone, Milwaukee continued to carry the momentum during the first. At the 12:28 mark, Patrick Toomey extended the Power’s lead to two, with assists by Matthew Ebersole and Riley Planey. And they weren’t finished yet; only thirty seconds later, Planey added another point to the board for Milwaukee, making it a 3-0 lead going into the second.
The Cyclones started the period with a power play and benefited from the man advantage. They scored their first goal of the night 38 seconds into the second, but wouldn’t be able to get past Northway’s wall for the rest of the game. With 12 minutes left of the period, Nate Stone made it a 4-1 game, ensuring that the Power would have a strong lead going into the third. Mason Ausmus and Patrick Toomey were credited for the goal. After a chippy second period, the Cyclones would need to make up for lost time in the final 20 minutes of the game. However, Milwaukee made it difficult for them to come back from a three-goal deficit. Late in the third, Max Erstad scored one final goal for the Power and secured a 5-1 win over Wausau. Northway played an important part in Saturday’s win, facing 38 shots and making 37 saves.
Looking ahead, Milwaukee will be riding the momentum from this win into their upcoming series against the Alexandria Blizzard. The Power have only played two games against the Blizzard this season and lost both of them. However, Alexandria is coming off a whopping 7-1 loss from this weekend, which may give the Power the opportunity to pick up a win against them. Along with that, this series will be Milwaukee’s first home games since Jan. 15. The first game of the weekend begins on Feb. 12 at 7:30 p.m. and the final game begins on Feb. 13 at 2 p.m. Check out our social media for details on our gameday events, and come cheer on your Milwaukee Power!
Story by Julia Woodcock