Friday, October 30, 2015


By Lee Samuels

Las Vegas – As bright red lights on the arena scoreboard ticked down the WSHL Las Vegas Storm skaters were on a power play firing last second shots. Storm fans had faces pressed against the cold rink glass. Others stood tall in the bleachers. Then, the clock went to 0.00 and the final horn sounded: the #1 Western Division leader Valencia Flyers won, 4-3 over Las Vegas Storm in a riveting high-tension game at the Las Vegas Ice Center on Friday night.

The nerve-racking game was just the reverse of Valencia’s eight-goal crushing win here Thursday night.

“Last season Valenica beat us six straight times. I mean, they really beat us. Then they win here Thursday night. That’s when we began talking about pride, playing with heart, playing for each other,” said Las Vegas coach Gabe Gauthier.

Las Vegas got a huge game from goalie Andre Spens along with some crushing hits and checks which took some of the steam out of the ultra-skilled Valencia skaters. The game was tied 1-1, then Las Vegas went ahead 2-1 before Valencia scored the final three goals to win it.

Tino Nummela, a defenseman from Finland, scored two of his biggest goals in junior hockey for Las Vegas and the Storm’s bright shining star #10 Isaiah Letendre scored again. Top line player Arrigo Burgener had his greatest skate of the season while dealing three assists and Chris Repka also had an assist.

The rinkboard talk however was all about the play in the net from Las Vegas goalies Andre Spens.

“He keeps real calm while defending in the net,” Gauthier said. 

Spens got rewarded too. 

He is scheduled to return to the net tomorrow against Valencia in the closing game of the weekend series.

From the Blue Line – By our count, Valencia had more shots 48-22. The breakdown went like this: First period Valencia 19-9, second period 17-4 and third period 12-9…For the season, Valencia is the WSHL Western Division leader at 11-2-0; Las Vegas is now 6-4-0 – it’s best start ever.