In the lone Thursday night game of the Big Six this week, the Arcola/Kisbey Combines searched for their first win against one of the top teams in the league, the Yellow Grass Wheat Kings, in Yellow Grass. The Wheat Kings could jump to the top of the league with a win to tie with Carlyle, while the Combines searched still for their first win of the season.
If there's one positive the Combines can pull from their season so far, it's that they come out of the gate with some hard pressure for most of their games, and they started this game the same way. The teams would go back and forth with offensive chances, but the Combines would manage to fire one past Cam Irwin when Walker Hengen would walk over the blue line and fire a slapshot at the net. It hit the pad of Irwin, but instead of springing off to the corner, it jumped up and over the pad, and fell behind the goal line.
A few minutes would pass and the Wheat Kings would start to fire back hard, and their effort would be rewarded when Mike Onstad snuck a pass out from behind the net that found the stick of Tucker Neuberger, who tucked it between Keegan Mitchell's pads to tie it.
From there, the Wheat Kings would dominate play, and maybe a little too much as on the forecheck Kyle Mryglod would take a boarding call and head to the box. On the ensuing power play, Rhett Palmer would send a pass out from the corner right on the stick of Walker Hengen who fired the one-timer through Irwin's five-hole, putting the Combines back up by one to end the period.
After one: 2-1 Arcola/Kisbey
The second period would be the wildest of the three, and it started only a minute in. Shelby Gray, Yellow Grass' leading scorer, would take the puck down the left side of the rink and whip a backhand shot around the defender and into the right pad of Mitchell, then collect his own rebound and raise it over the pad to tie the game at two.
From there, the scoring would subside until we got three goals in less than a minute at the eleven-minute mark.
The first would give the Wheat Kings the lead, this time when Gray came down the opposite side of the ice, down the right, wind up to the roof, and blast a cannon of a snapshot under the blocker of Mitchell.
Then, 41 seconds later, Rhett Palmer would take a break from the assists and get his third point of the night when a pass from behind the net would rattle around off of skates and find its way to his stick, giving him an open net to pound the puck home to.
To cap off the there goals just 13 seconds after that, Justin Richter would add his name to the scoresheet after a scramble in front that gave him an easy tap in to go back up by two.
A few minutes would pass before Thomas Carleton would extend the lead to 5-3 for the Wheat Kings when Thomas Carleton would sneak one through the pads of Mitchell once more.
The Combines would use up the last of their momentum with another power-play goal when Brady Third would get the puck in the slot and fire a snapshot off of Cam Irwin's blocker and in, prompting Irwin to fire his stick down the length of the ice as he headed to the bench to sit the rest of the game, giving his team another penalty in the process.
Tanner Erickson would take over the crease for the rest of the night, and would shutout the power play of the Combines to keep his team up by one.
By then, the momentum for the Combines had come to an end and the Wheat Kings would start to take sole control of the game. Two more goals would come for the home team before the end of the period, the second from Thomas Carleton and the last of the period from Devon Johnson.
After two: 7-4 Yellow Grass
The third period would be all Yellow Grass, as they would put on more pressure than they had in the first two periods combined. Thomas Carleton would finish his hat trick, Shelby Gray would do the same, and Troy Miller would score the final goal of the game with only 27 seconds on the clock to seal the dominant win for Yellow Grass.
FINAL SCORE: Yellow Grass 10 - 4 Arcola/Kisbey
The win puts the Wheat Kings in a tie for first, though they have a game in hand and a win in hand over the Carlyle Cougars. The Combines continue to search for their first win of the season.