Saturday, January 14, 2017

By Lee Samuels

Las Vegas – When GM/head coach Gabe Gauthier took a long look at his club on the ice Saturday night he knew they were the best team he has ever had here in town and now it is a matter of getting wired in for the playoffs which begin in March.

The WSHL Las Vegas Storm beat the Phoenix Knights for the third straight time, this one a 12-2 game and the Storm had to work through some very hard checks, fighting, and rough action near the rinkboards.

And those were the nice things to say about Phoenix which left the Las Vegas Ice Center in three vans to head home on a cold rainy Saturday night.

On the bench Gauthier looked at the bigger picture during this game. The Storm has an array of hard skating goal scorers, top defensemen and at last are strong in the net.  Las Vegas is 19-13-2 – breaking a record for most wins in a single season – and after the game Gauthier was chatting about how the youngest Storm players are getting more accustomed to the grit and hard play in the deep dark corners of the North Rink in a junior hockey game.

Those players include hometown skaters like Brenden Fehlig, Kyle Molony and Seth Bergeron who all played well in this game.  The Storm’s best hometown player is defenseman Jake McKenna who is paired with captain Tino Nummela. They defend with dignity, working hard and moving pucks out of danger zones

Gauthier said next weekend will give him a better image of where his team really is right now. The Storm is off to take on the tremendously skilled WSHL Valencia Flyers who have been an elite team for years in this league.

From the Blue Line –  Ethan Schwartz of Phoenix took a hard puck onto his face shield right above an eye in the third period…. Las Vegas hockey mom Charla Ricketts was at game. She said he son Beau – a big hockey star here in town for the WSHL Las Vegas Storm – is doing well but not playing hockey in Minot, N.D….Long time Las Vegas referee Jon Constantine, who is now living in Dayton, Ohio, stopped by to see the game. He is in town to see his mother Barbara.  Jon said when he was a referee in town he gave it his all “…no matter what level of a game I officiated – from a professional game to a squirt game. I gave it all I had.”….and speaking of greatness, referee Adam Hendren and linesman Jared Jaeger did their very best keeping this heated game on track.

WSHL LAS VEGAS STORM 12, PHOENIX KNIGHTS 2

LV – Isaiah Letendre (20th goal this season) Joey Allegrini assist

LV – Nikita Pintusov 28th (Brenden Fehlig)

LV – Nicolas Ondrejkovic 3rd (Jean Christophe Lachapelle)

LV – Jasper Fitzi 3rd (Nicolas Ondrejkovic)

LV – Jeffery Morgan 21st (Ted Astrom)

LV – Seth Bergeron 2nd (Ted Astrom, Jeffery Morgan)

LV – Joey Allegrini 8th (Seth Bergeron, Ted Astrom)

LV – Nikita Pintusov 29th (Brenden Fehlig, Seth Bergeron)

LV – Amandus Laukkanen 8th (Egor Kovalendo)

LV – Amandus Laukkanen 9th (Sam Sykes, Nick Peck)

LV – Jeffery Morgan 22nd (Ted Astrom, Isaiah Letendre)

LV – Jeffery Morgan 23rd (Joey Allegrini)

Las Vegas goalie – Spencer Kozlowski