(WAUSAU, WI)- Wausau took on the Peoria Mustangs in a three game weekend series at Marathon Park Ice Arena in their first matchup since the RiverWolves overhauled the roster in mid-January. RiverWolves defenseman Ethan Cumming, who was named the NA3HL Central Star of the Week was also looking to continue his hot play after a 5-point weekend in Rochester.
Friday’s contest started off quick with a total of four goals being made in the first ten minutes in the first period. Christopher Kondiles of the Peoria Mustangs scored the first goal of the night with an assist from Reid Lune two minutes into the first. Less than a minute later, Lune scored his own goal with an assist from Ethan Chesney. At the 3:59 mark into the first, Thomas Kayner scored the Mustangs third goal with an assist from Quinton Murphy. RiverWolves defensemen Ethan Cumming scored the first goal for the RiverWolves at the 9:11 mark. The goals kept coming as Heath Drye of the Peoria Mustangs scored their fourth goal with an assist from Jared Wisely, which closed the first period with a score of 4-1 Mustangs.
The second period was a stark contrast to the first with only one goal being netted by Ethan Chesney of the Peoria Mustangs at the 12:40 mark. RiverWolves forward Trey Bociek added a third period goal, which was assisted from JJ Martin. Goaltender Caleb Sauer had 27 saves in the 5-2 loss.
After giving up four first period goals on Friday night the RiverWolves came to play early and often on a frigid night in Central Wisconsin in game two. Wausau got on the board first with a goal by recently acquired forward Tommy Raith at the 5:51 mark of the 2nd period. Less than 3 minutes later forward Nolan Gifford netted his 4th goal on the season. Gifford was in the right place at the right time as he found a loose puck right in front of Peoria goaltender Joe Ambroffi.
The game remained 2-0 Wausau until 3:47 of the third period when RiverWolves forward Griffin Lehet earned a penalty shot after being taken down in front of the net. Lehet skated in wide right on his penalty shot and snipped a shot above Ambroffi’s glove. Peoria answered with a goal on their own one minute later as Thomas Kayner scored his 8th on the season to make it a 3-1 game. Wausau’s captain Kasey Couture came up huge in the late stages of the 3rd period as he added two additional goals to put the game out of reach and made the RiverWolves 5-2 winners Saturday night. Goaltender Caleb Sauer stopped 32 of 34 shots to earn the win.
Sunday afternoon brought the rubber match of the weekend series as Wausau was looking to take 2 of 3 on the weekend from the (19-5-1-1) Mustangs. Connor Bennett scored for the Peoria Mustangs with an assist from Connor Henderson at 2:40 of the first period. Six minutes later former Antigo Red Robin Issac Wickersheim drilled home a goal for his team leading 9th of the season. Wickersheim’s goal was assisted by Ethan Cumming. Peoria took the lead back at 17:59 of the 1st after a goal by forward Trace Tompkins.
The Mustangs extended their lead in the 2nd period after goals from Connor Bennett and Ibriham Arifi. After 2 period of play Wausau trailed by a 4-1 score. Peoria added one more goal late in third period as they took the rubber match by a 5-1 final. Caleb Sauer made 34 saves in the loss.
Your Wausau RiverWolves are back home Friday, February 12th at 7:10pm for the RiverWolves camo beanie giveaway presented by Fleet Farlm. Limited tickets are available via riverwovleshockey.com.