The Maine Wild have turned a corner just before the holiday break, winning three games in a row and making up some much-needed ground to gain placement in the Eastern Conference Standings.
The streak started Friday night with a back-and-fourth effort with Cape Cod – it was a game Head Coach Mike Tenney called "one of the craziest games" he's ever seen.
The Wild hed a 3-1 lead with five minutes to go in the second period, before taking penalties and surrendering the lead to 3-2. The Islanders scored to tie it up right before the second period ended, a benefit for Tenney, he said, as the break allowed the team to regroup.
"We came out in the third and for 17 minutes played really well back and fourth, and with 2:43 to go, Drew Lupardo scored to make it 4-3. We felt pretty good, and we wanted to lock it down. We did the opposite," said Tenney.
The Islanders scored to tie it at 4-4, Tenney said, thinking the game would go to overtime at that point. Seconds later the game was 5-4 Islanders, and Tenney saw the game out of their grasp.
"We pulled the goalie and I'm still not really sure how but Ignat (Molchanov) found the back of the net with 20 seconds to go, So we tied 5-5. It was a crazy three minutes. Both teams scored twice the last three minutes of the game," said Tenney. "So it went to OT and both teams had several good chances. Then we went to a shootout, and they scored on their first shooter. We scored on our second and then nobody scored through five shooters. Our new guy Parkhurst scored and their shooter didn't, so we got the win."
On Saturday, the Wild went into the game feeling confident, Tenney said.
"We identified things we needed to clean up, specifically the last five minutes of periods, like in the last second and third the day before," said Tenney. "So we put a focus on those areas and we put in a 60 minute effort. It was a good game."
Tenney said at one point the game was tied at two-all and the Wild camped down like he'd asked, and the team finished off the win.
"The (Islanders) played well but we played better, which was nice to see and our top line of (Drew) Lupardo, Ignat (Molchanov) and Noel (Fischer) is really starting to go," said Tenney. "They carried us offensively this weekend, combining for 22 points. It was a good weekend for that line."