Thursday, January 29, 2015

By Lee Samuels

Las Vegas – Super Bowl week is kicking in early this week. The WSHL Las Vegas Storm starts it tonight in a rare Thursday night game against the San Diego Gulls at the Las Vegas Ice Center. Faceoff is at 6 pm on the north rink. This will be the opener of a three-game weekend series.

For Las Vegas, this is an important series as wins are needed to get positioning for the upcoming playoffs. Las Vegas is five points ahead of the Gulls in their division race. Gulls games this season are typically low-scoring firefights.

Las Vegas coach Gabe Gauthier said “these are important games. We’ve been on a slump for 10 games and I’ve had enough. We worked them hard last week during the bye week and again this week in practice in preparation for this weekend.”

The coach announced that Trevor Morgan’s older brother Jaeden has been added to the roster.  Patrik Jokela, the Storm’s #1 goalie, will get the start tonight.

Las Vegas Top Goal Scorers

19 – Beau Ricketts, 15 – Nikita Larionov, 14 – Arrigo Burgener, 13 – Vincent Dekumbis, 13- Kyle Pacheco, 9 – Quinn Travis, 6 – Moritz Matzka, 5 – Felix Brunner

San Diego Gulls Top Goal Scorers

13 – Todd Cameron, 13 – Nurbek Baltayev, 11 – Artemy Yaroslavskiy, 9- Pavel Bocharov, 7 – Felix Morin

From the Blue Line – Beau Ricketts of Las Vegas was a star goal scorer for the Helena BigHorns, then played two seasons with the NAHL Minot Minotauros. Beau, a big game goal scorer for the Storm, has 6 powerplay goals…He was voted the 2014 Vegas Hockey Player of the Year and teammate Moritz Matzka was voted the Defensive Player of the Year…Las Vegas defenseman Alkhas Kocharev has 16 points – one goal, 15 assists. He is a very strong player….Felix Brunner of the Storm played youth hockey with the L.A. Jr Kings and Cal Wave…Quinn Travis, a very skilled player, is from Colorado…The series with the Gulls will be played on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Both teams are off on Super Bowl Sunday.