High Sierra Wild Bantam Clinches Playoff Spot | NevadaAppeal.com

High Sierra Wild Bantam Clinches Playoff Spot

Appeal Staff Report

The High Sierra Wild Bantam ice hockey team clinched a playoff spot in its series this past weekend against the San Jose Junior Sharks at the South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena.

The Wild and Sharks tied 4-4 in the first game and the Wild won the second game 6-0. The Wild Bantam team is now 10-5-1 in the Northern California Youth Hockey League (www.norcalyouthhockey.com), and has clinched a spot in the NORCAL Playoffs, March 17-19 at the Logitech Ice in San Jose.

In the Wild’s first game against San Jose, the Junior Sharks jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period. The Wild’s first goal came in the second period when Cooper Stanley deflected a slap-shot from the point by Reno’s Brian Grove. Shortly thereafter, however, the Sharks scored again to take a 3-1 lead.

Just before the end of the second period, Brandon Rader of Sparks received a pass from Cameron Fields and scored to cut the Sharks’ lead to 3-2. Midway through the third period, Reno’s Jimmy Thorngren took a pass from Rader, got around the Sharks’ defense and tied the game at 3-3.

Once again, the Sharks answered, scoring less than two minutes later, to take a 4-3 lead. But the Wild were not finished. With less than three minutes left in the game, Stanley passed the puck to Thorngren who fired the shot on goal. The Sharks’ goalie made the initial save, but Austin Hoyt pushed the loose puck under the goalie’s leg and into the net to tie the game.

The Wild continued a pattern of playing strong in the third period, when they outshot the Sharks 15-6 (28-17 for the game). Goalie Chris Yarrow of South Tahoe made 13 saves for the Wild.

In the second game, the Wild jumped on the Sharks early. With less than a minute gone in the game, Stanley made a beautiful pass to Thorngren for a shot and Fields hammered home the rebound. Shortly thereafter, Thorngren took another pass from Stanley, made a beautiful spin move to beat the Sharks’ defense and put the Wild ahead 2-0.

Early in the second period, the Wild scored again on another spectacular play. Fields received a pass from Stanley behind the Sharks’ net and patiently waited until Rader cycled in toward the goal from the point. Fields hit him in stride and Rader scored on a beautiful one-timer.

Gardnerville’s Chris Rogusky added two goals, the first on assists by South Tahoe’s Paul Amundson and Reno’s Daylan Berry and the second on an assist by Reno’s Connor Worthley. Rader finished the scoring with a slap-shot from the point on an assist by Rogusky. Goalie Matt Scherer of Carson City made 20 saves to record the shutout.

The High Sierra Wild (www.highsierrahockey.com) is a competitive, youth ice hockey program, including players from Carson City, Carson Valley, Lake Tahoe, Reno and Sparks.