BREMERTON – The West Sound Warriors did everything it could to keep visiting Lake Tahoe at bay, but the Icemen scored seven goals in the third period for an 8-2 win Friday at the Bremerton Ice Arena.

It’s the first of a three-game Western States Hockey League Northwest Division series, and the first time the Icemen (26-20-3, 55 points) have played in Bremerton.

West Sound (21-24-1, 43) sits in fourth place behind division-leading Idaho, Tahoe, and surging Bellingham. The Warriors are assured of a playoff spot as one of the four teams to earn a berth into the postseason.

Tahoe got on the scoreboard first with a goal from Lucas Demsar at the 14:24 mark. Lauri Hakanen tied the game at 1-1 for the Warriors three minutes later off assists from Dmitri Munirov and Ruslan Abyanov.

Alec Johnson put West Sound ahead 2-1 off assists from Ethan Cooney and Harri Koll with 54.6 seconds left in the first.

The teams played a scoreless second period as Warriors goaltender Brian Eisele made 13 saves, including two glove saves grabbing the puck out of the air.

But the third period belonged to the Icemen. Tahoe’s Paul Frys had a hat trick as Tahoe scored its goals in succession.

The Warriors were playing short staffed and were gassed by the third period, which attributed to the lopsided score. Tahoe outshot West Sound 38-16.

A shortened roster means extended shifts for the Warriors, who struggled to keep up with the fresher legs coming off the Tahoe bench.

Sam Pelech, Mattias Wikstrom, Erik Sjostrom, and Connor Wherett were not listed on Friday’s roster. Those players have accounted for a majority of the Warriors scoring this season.

It was the sixth straight loss for the Warriors who haven’t won since beating Seattle 4-3 Jan. 25.

They’ll have a chance to snap that streak as the teams play the second game of the series Saturday at 7 p.m.


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