(Wausau, WI)- The Wausau RiverWolves hit the road this weekend as they traveled to Evansville, Indiana to take on the Jr. Thunderbolts in a two-game weekend series. The Jr. Thunderbolts currently stand 3rd in the Midwest Division, while the RiverWolves remain 4th in the Central Division.
The Wausau RiverWolves secured a win in Friday’s contest with a final score of 8-4. Michael Alfonso began the scoring for the RiverWolves, lighting the lamp at the 2:38 mark as he was assisted by Matt Irwin and Ryan Hempel. With the score tied at 1 midway through the first period, Hempel scored a goal of his own during a power play at the 11:54 mark as he was assisted by Santana Pinkert and Irwin.
Wausau began the second period by scoring 3 unanswered goals. Garrett Alton (assisted by Irwin and Hempel), Sean Johnston (assisted by Janne Rukamp and Ron Rentner) and Hempel (assisted by Rukamp and Johnston) each scored for the Riverwolves to open a 5-1 lead over the Jr. Thunderbolts. Irwin used a power play to score just before the end of the second period at the 19:05 mark on an assist by Alton and Pinkert to keep the lead at 4 goals 6-2. Hempel scored his third goal of the game early in the third period (2:46) on an assist from Alfonso and Irwin to extend the RiverWolves lead to 7-2.
Ben Brown finished the scoring for the RiverWolves with a goal at the 14:49 mark as he was assisted by Alfonoso. Starting in the net for the RiverWolves was Henry Baribeau who secured 39 saves in the victory.
Wausau carried the momentum into game two against Evansville on Saturday, winning 6-5. Rukamp scored the lone goal of the first period off an assist by Barak Broad during the 15:29 mark. Rukamp was active again in the second period, scoring another goal to break a 1-1 tie during the 12:30 mark off an assist by Ron Rentner and Johnston. Irwin finished the second period with a hat trick, scoring at the 16:06 mark on a power play (assisted by Alton and Hempel), the 16:46 mark (assisted by Tristen Hultberg and Rentner) and the 19:41 mark (assisted by Hultberg and Rentner).
Irwin struck again in the third period as he closed the scoring for the RiverWolves with an assist from Pinkert and Renter at the 12:17 mark. Irwin leads the team in goals (34) and assists (27) this season. Goaltender Jackson Fazendin picked up the win and collected 33 saves in the contest.