The Minnesota Magicians (25-17-4) defeated the defending North American Hockey League (NAHL) Robertson Cup Champion Fairbanks Ice Dogs 5-1 on Friday night at Richfield Ice Arena in front of a raucous home crowd. The following night, the Ice Dogs were able to sneak out of town with a victory after scoring the winning goal with only 30 seconds remaining in the game. The Magicians are currently 9 points ahead of the Ice Dogs in the Midwest Division standings and should easily secure a playoff bid in the next few weeks.
Returning to Richfield Ice Arena for the first time in nearly a month, the Magicians made the most of their home ice advantage on Friday night by scoring three goals in the first 5-minutes of the game. First, it was Prior Lake native Matt Denman (Assists: Caleb Hite, Timo Walther) finding the back of the net just over a minute into the game. Next, Caleb Hite scored a goal assisted by Walther and South St. Paul High School alum Cam Buhl. A minute later, defenseman Will LeNeave (Assists: Mitch Slattery, Tommy Altounian) scored his first goal as a member of the Magicians. The early three goal lead held into the first intermission and propelled the Magicians to a relatively easy ride the rest of the way.
In the second period, Tanner Tweten (Assists: Brendan Skarda, Parker Mismash) scored to increase the lead to 4-0. After Fairbanks got a third period goal to cut the lead to 4-1, Mitch Slattery (Assists: Andrew Kangas, Will Hammer) scored on an empty net late to make it a 5-1 final. Magicians goaltender Ivan Prosvetov made 23 saves in the win.
In addition to the great turnout of fans on Friday night, there were also upwards of 20 NHL scouts in the building, including several from the Minnesota Wild. Magicians goaltender Ivan Prosvetov and defenseman Hunter Lellig have attracted plenty of attention lately after being named to the NHL Central Scouting watch list for the upcoming draft in June. Prosvetov, Lellig, and the rest of the Magicians can be seen in action once again this Saturday February 25th at Richfield Ice Arena as they take on the Coulee Region Chill. The game time is scheduled for 7:00 PM, and tickets can be purchased at www.wisconsinjuniorhockey.com.