Another exciting week of IceHL action has just wrapped up. Check out the scores.
The big question in Week 5 was whether the IceHL EAST's only undefeated team could hang onto that title for yet another week. In fact, they did. The Barracudas topped the Archers 66-53, improving to 5-0 this season. Tampa Bay got double-digit points from all but one member of the team, as Tyler Johnson led the way with 17, including 2 goals and an assist. Goalie Dustin Tokarski's 2 wins made him the Barracudas' second-highest scorer.
For the Archers, Adam Henrique and Justin Schultz combined for 32 points, which included 2 goals and 6 assists. Unfortunately, defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson has been a disappointment recently. The 2 points he earned this week were his first since grabbing 36 total in Weeks 1 and 2. The good news for both teams was that not a single player was left off the scoresheet this week.
The noteworthy team of the week was the Nighthawks, who tied a league record, scoring 82 points to defeat the Sentinels, who had 52. The forwards shined bright for North Carolina as Kyle Palmieri, Keith Aucoin and Jordan Eberle each finished north of 20 points. But that's not to discount the defensemen, who also pitched in with a couple of assists. The Sentinels were led by blue-liner Jake Gardner who had a goal and 4 assists for 16 points.
It looks like the Motorheads are ready to start turning things around, as they snapped a four-week skid to earn their first victory of the season, 36-31 over the Colonials. Chris Bourque made his mark with a goal, 2 assists and 6 minutes in the box for 16 points. Meantime, Boston extends its losing streak to three games, but not for lack of trying from Brayden Schenn, who accounted for 19 points on 4 goals and an assist.
The Olympiques finally put their offensive power on full display with a 66-34 win over the Mariners. Cory Conacher rose to the top with 21 points on a goal, 3 assists and 8 penalty minutes for Montreal. Even D-man Garrett Stafford tallied 13 points on 3 assists and 4 PIMs. Despite the lost, Radko Gudas was most impressive for Hartford, notching 17 points on a goal, 2 assists and 7 penalty minutes.
Coming off their first loss of the season, the Lagers added another this week, falling 51-39 to the Hitmen. Both teams got points from their entire rosters, but Mark Barberio had 17 alone for Chicago. Milwaukee saw below-average points from all of its skaters while Justin Peters earned a place in the spotlight with a pair of wins, good for 12 points.
Meanwhile, the Guardians thumped the Steelcats 62-38. The Blue Crabs won 53-32 over the Arsenal. And after an anomalous Week 4, the Armada and Mammoths went back to their old ways as Quebec beat Minnesota 40-16.
Now let's take a look at the other conference.
An unbelievable new mark was set in Week 5 by the Pioneers, who earned a stunning 92 points in their 92-66 victory over the Huskies. The record-breaking win catapulted Portland from 11th to 6th in the IceHL WEST standings. Most of the credit goes to an inordinate amount of penalty time, but that wasn't the sole source of Mike Kostka's 43 points! The defenseman picked up a goal and 5 assists to go along with 24 PIMS this week. Joining him was Kyle Palmieri with 27 points. Do the math; together they earned 70 points, the greatest performance by any pair of teammates this season.
Meantime, Alaska's performance was nothing to sneeze at. Three players earned 12 points or more, including 21 from Cory Conacher. And every member of the team contributed this week, which was more than could be said for the Pioneers. If the Huskies had been up against almost anyone else this week, it would've almost surely put them back in the W column.
Also making noise this week was the Sharpshooters, claiming their first win of the season with a 46-40 win over the defending league champion Beasts. Chris Bourque and Radko Gudas combined for 33 points on the Saskatoon side while goalie Yann Dannis led Boulder with 12 points on 2 wins. The Beasts got production from the entire roster, but the skaters were all below their scoring averages.
The Kodiaks continued their run of alternating wins and losses with a 67-37 beatdown of the Narwhals. All but one skater hit double-digit points as the blue line itself tallied a total of 28 points. As a team, Edmonton chalked up an impressive 6 goals and 10 assists. The Narwhals, on the other hand, couldn't find a single goal and no player earned more than one assist. Devante Smith-Pelly's 13 points was the team's best this week.
The undefeated Winterhawks and Outlaws continued their winning ways in Week 5. Winnipeg stunned the Aviators 57-34 on a huge performance from Brett Connolly. The NHLer picked up 3 goals, 2 assists and 4 penalty minutes for 22 points. Meanwhile AHL teammate Tyler Johnson led Seattle with 17 points on 2 goals, 1 assist and 6 PIMs.
Dallas just edged out the Cavalry 45-43, relying heavily on Keith Aucoin's 23-point effort. For Calgary, Jake Gardiner and Eric Tangradi combined for 31 points but got only minimal help from two other teammates. The loss leaves Calgary as the only IceHL team yet to find its way to a win this season.
The once-hot Renegades, who opened the year 3-0, were dealt another blow this week falling just short of the Scorpions, 67-65. Both sides got great efforts, but Nazem Kadri's 27 points were key for Salt Lake City. Regina's forwards were all in double digits with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins leading the way on 4 goals and 2 assists for 22 points.
Elsewhere, the Wave improved to 4-1 with a 54-44 win over the Gators. And the Lumberjacks trumped the Hellcats 47-30, a lead of 17 points, which is exactly what T.J. Hensick put up for Vancouver this week.
Interesting developments overall in Week 5. A new single-week point record. A new individual player point record. And the season's first wins for previously winless teams. We're almost a quarter of the way through the IceHL season and it's proving to be just as exciting without the NHL as it was with it!