BEDFORD, MA -- The Wizards completed the season series sweep of Valley Jr. Warriors with a 6-5 win on the road on Friday. The Wizards beat their New Division opponent by a combined score of 17-10 in the four meetings this season. With the win the Wizards move to 27-18-2 on the season with now just three regular season games left before the playoffs.
"It was nice to bounce back with a win on Friday," said Wizards head coach and general manager Freddy Meyer. "Defensively we have a few things to work on now in the final week of the regular season."
Devin Panzeca started off the scoring on Friday with a short-handed goal assisted by the goaltender Alec Marshall to give the Wizards a 1-0 lead. The Warriors would respond with two goals of their own just seconds apart to take a one-goal lead into the first intermission. Isaac Leslie tied up the game just before the 11-minute mark of the second frame, followed by a Mike Bermingham goal a minute later to give the Wizards the 3-2 advantage. The Warriors battled back to tie the game at 3-3, but Dylan Schuett secured the lead back for the Wizards with a short-handed goal around the 8-minute mark of the frame. With their short-handed tallies, both Panzeca and Schuett extend their point streaks to 19 games each.
Panzeca got his name back on the scoresheet with a goal just over seven minutes into the 3rd period to give the Wizards a 5-3 lead, but the Warriors wouldn’t lie down as they responded with two quick goals to knot up the game at five apiece with about six minutes remaining in the game. However, the Warriors couldn’t put together a formula to stop Panzeca as he completed the hat-trick with a goal near the four-minute mark of the frame to give the Wizards the late lead. That was the 97’s 40th goal of the season along with his second hat-trick of the year. Marshall was able to hold off the Warriors for the rest of the game, stopping 18 shots in the winning effort. Both Bermingham and Luke Pepin recorded a pair of assists in the victory.
With just three games remaining, the Wizards will get back to work this upcoming Wednesday with a game on the road against the Vermont Lumberjacks, who the Wizards will be matched up with in the First Round of the EHL Playoffs. The Wizards are then set to wrap up their season with a home-and-home series against the New England Wolves next weekend.
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