Thursday, February 19, 2019
By Lee Samuels
Las Vegas – Beau Ricketts of Las Vegas has scored the biggest, most meaningful goals all season for the WSHL Las Vegas Storm. Tonight, he scored 3 times, giving him 25 for the season for the Storm who out-battled a determined Phoenix Knights team 6-4 before a large, frenzied crowd on the north rink at the Las Vegas Ice Center.
Beau’s hockey dad Tommy Ricketts “didn’t feel well enough to come to the game” according to mom Charla. Tommy has been in and out of hospitals for a few years.
“Whenever I score, it makes him feel better. It drives me,” said Beau.
He added “This is the greatest season I’ve ever played – even better than my season at Helena. Everything is working well for me on the ice.”
Beau was a league Rookie of the Year when he had a monster of a season with the Helena BigHorns which went deep into the playoffs three years ago. Then he was signed by the NAHL Minot Minotauras where he was played two seasons, then was released.
In the summer, he was working and out of hockey.
It was the Storm’s owner Kirk Brooks who asked new head coach Gabe Gauthier to give Ricketts a call.
Gabe did, saying “I just asked Beau to come over and check us out. Get on the ice and skate. It was summer and we had signed players including Jake McKenna, Quinn Travis and Kyle Pacheco.”
Beau got onto the ice, worked out, then agreed to play for the Storm in his final junior season.
“Beau gives us 100 percent effort when we need it the most,” Gabe said. “When we’re in a tough situation, Beau is out there.”
Las Vegas jet-streamed to an easy 3-0 lead in the first period, then Phoenix had a goalie change and kicked in its offensive attack. It got very dicey, 4-4 in the second period when Ricketts made a spectacular play.
With 0:37.6 seconds in the second period, Las Vegas went onto a power play. Beau posted himself in front of the Phoenix net. The puck was passed back and forth on top, then the puck was blue-streaked towards Beau.
“It was a wide pass but the puck hit a skate of a Phoenix player and the puck went right onto my stick. I used my backhand to score,” Beau said.
That made it 5-4. Las Vegas scored one more goal – Ricketts again – and the Storm got the two goal win.
Las Vegas, which has clinched a playoff spot, put Phoenix in a very tough position. Phoenix needs to win its last five games of the season to get past the San Diego Gulls who are in 6th place – the last spot to qualify.
From the Blue Line – Anyone who bought an admission ticket got free pizza….There was a Las Vegas Wants Hockey promotion in the lobby to push season tickets for the new NHL team here in town…So many Storm players had a good, solid game including Richard Prekop who had a great mid-distance goal in the first period….6′ 5″ Braxton Davis of Las Vegas did his physical work to help keep Phoenix skaters off of Storm goalie Patrik Jokela….Nathan Fournier’s hard work was outstanding all three periods…Jiri Ryyppo worked defensively in this game….The Storm announced that goalie Jaedon McConnell will start on Friday night….Las Vegas plays Phoenix on Friday and Saturday nights, then will take on Ontario Avalanche in the first round of the playoffs which begin March 6.
LAS VEGAS STORM 6, PHOENIX KNIGHTS 4
Las Vegas scoring
LVS – Beau Ricketts 23rd (Nathan Fournier, Kyle Pacheco)
LVS – Arrigo Burgener 16th (Alkas Kochkarev, Nikita Larinov)
LVS – Richard Prekop 3rd (Cody Holmes)
LVS – Nikita Larinov 20th (Arrigo Burgener, Beau Ricketts
LVS – Beau Ricketts 24th (Moritz Matzka, Natan Fournier)
LVS – Beau Ricketts 25th (Arrigo Burgener, Alkas Kochkarev)
Phoenix – Colton Pankiv (3 goals), Luke Stripp (3 goals)
Las Vegas – Patrik Jokela