EVANSVILLE, IN — It’s time for Evansville’s annual Thanksgiving road trip. Every year the Hadi Shrine Circus takes over the Ford Center for the holiday weekend and the IceMen pack their bags. This year it’s no minor road trip. The team is heading way up yonder (that’s southern, y’all) to Alaska. Evansville will be a visitor at the Sullivan Arena on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night before returning home next Wednesday to play Missouri.
- The IceMen signed Cody Reichard on Saturday and he had an immediate impact. The IceMen won on Saturday night 3-2. Cody stopped 41 of 43 shots in the victory.
- After scoring his first of the season on Friday, Justin MacDonald scored a goal again on Saturday and rides a two game goal scoring streak into Alaska.
- Both Matthew Zay and Jarret Lukin are traveling with the team to Alaska. Zay is currently still on IR and Lukin is on reserve. If they’re traveling to Alaska, my assumption is that both will see ice time on the trip.
- Vincent Dunn was a healthy scratch on Saturday. The consensus is that it is due to the multiple unsportsmanlike penalties he’s received this year. He too, is taking the trip to Alaska.
- The IceMen scored a combined seven goals in their last two games. That makes up 26% of their total goals this season. Evansville has played 13 games.
- Evansville is 2-4 on the road this year.
Evansville IceMen @ Alaska Aces
Friday, Saturday, Sunday
November 27, 28, 29
Sullivan Arena — Anchorage, AK
- Alaska is 5-10-0-2 this season and 3-5-0-1 at home. The Aces have lost their last three home games.
- Alaska won 6-2 in Evansville on November 18th.
- The Aces have lost five out of their last six. Their lone win during that stretch was in Evansville.
- The Aces are lead offensively by Justin Breton, who has seven goals and four assists. Also, rookie Tommaso Traversa has an impressive seven goals.
- In goal, Troy Redmann stopped 38 of 40 shots the IceMen fired on him during the November 18th game. He is 4-7-0-2 on the year. During a three game in three day stretch, the IceMen should also see Steven Summerhays. He’s 1-3 on the year with a .881 save percentage
- The Aces are tied for fourth with the most goals allowed in the league.
What to Watch For
Going into last weekend’s contests I thought the IceMen were in trouble. The offense had yet to find any sort of consistent rhythm and there were doubts about Asmundson. Hope springs eternal as, not only did the IceMen score seven goals over the two game span, but Cody Reichard breathed new life into the goalie situation while Greenham is in Binghamton and Bengtsberg heals up.
The true X-factor of the trip is the trip itself. It’s a long haul to Alaska and the IceMen have to play three games in three days. How well the team does with the wear and tear of travel and games will be significant to how successful the trip is. Cody Reichard hasn’t played this year before last Saturday and I’m not sure the team can ask him to do all three games.
All signs point towards the IceMen being able to keep the positive momentum going offensively. They flat out flew up and down the ice during the second period against Orlando and if they generate that kind of activity again, I anticipate them scoring goals in Alaska.
The optimist in me thinks Evansville can win all three games in Alaska, but a successful trip would be 2-1.
I would like to wish Evansville and fans all around the league a very happy Thanksgiving. I too will be spending time with family over the holiday, but if news breaks of an agreement between the IceMen and Evansville on the Ford Center I will be sure to keep everyone informed.