In the boys Game of the Week, the Arrowhead Warhawks hosted the USM Wildcats at the Mullett Center for a thrilling Classic 8 Conference Matchup. The Warhawks came out strong, earning themselves a 2-0 lead, but the Wildcats fought back, gaining momentum at the end of the second period and winning the game 3-2.
Arrowhead controlled the majority of the play for the first seven minutes of action, but USM took advantage of their time in the zone, outshooting the Warhawks 5-1 within the first few minutes of the game.
As the game continued, we found more end-to-end play as the physicality of both teams increased.
With two minutes and eight seconds to play in the first period, Hayden Brown made his way to the box for an interference call that put Arrowhead on the powerplay.
The Warhawks took their time setting up for the play that put the first goal on the board. Sam Schultz found the back of the net with only 12 seconds remaining on the advantage and on the first shot of powerplay. Jonathan Daury passed the puck to Colin Nowicki at the right point, who made a centering pass that found Schultz. Surrounded by several Wildcat defensemen, he took a shot that slid past Bryan Botcher's left pad.
Arrowhead struck again just three minutes and 26 seconds into the second period. Nick Peterson sent the puck to Matt Daury who was positioned at the left point, and Daury rifled a shot that dropped between Botcher's blocker and pad. Ben Serres also earned an assist on the play.
Beginning at 7:20 into the second period, a constant stream of players came in and out of the penalty box.
USM's penalty kill unit put lots of quality shots on net and had some 2-on-1 opportunities, but Arrowhead goaltender Trevor Macey stood strong.
A boarding call on Colin McBride with 2:01 remaining in the period gave USM their first powerplay of the game. Hayden Brown took a shot from the bottom of the circle that soared into the top left corner of the net, narrowing Arrowhead's lead to just one goal. Jake Kandel had the helper on the powerplay goal scored with 55.5 seconds left in the second.
Just 48 seconds later, Hayden Brown found himself in a scuffle in front of the net, but he was able to push the puck through Macey and into the back of the net to tie up the game.
A strong flurry at the end of the period gave the Wildcats the momentum heading into the last 17 minutes of play.
Two USM penalties in a row gave the Warhawks the opportunity to tally several shots on net, but Nick Epperson caught a lucky break shorthanded. Catching a pass from Chris Keliher at the blue line, Epperson battled through Arrowhead defenseman Schultz for the shorthanded goal.
Arrowhead fought to regain momentum after the Wildcat goal scored with 9:46 to play, but they were stuck in an almost ping pong-like back and forth rhythm for several minutes.
With 1:14 left to play, Arrowhead called a timeout and made the decision to pull Macey for an extra attacker.
While the Warhawks had many strong attempts in the last minute of play, they could not tie up the game, and USM got the 3-2 win.