The Eastside Freeze has a roster size of 22 players. On July 28, the Freeze only had 11 of those players in rotation for the 23-7 loss against the Minneapolis Wheat Kings.
The Wheat Kings improved to 2-0 on the season, while Eastside drops to 1-2.
From the get-go, Minneapolis took advantage of the Freeze’s limited bench and took it to Eastside from start to finish. Majority of the Wheat Kings goals came off of the transition.
Minneapolis cruised to an 8-0 lead after the first period. Eastside only forced five shots in the period, while the Wheat Kings put on 21. Despite that rough first period, the Freeze kept their heads up and continued to grind.
Eastside finally got the goose egg off the board in the second period with an unassisted goal by Grant Glazier. Minneapolis scored three unanswered goals after that before forward Seth Noble scored with an assist by Joey Saba.
The Freeze went toe-to-toe with the Wheat Kings in the second. Minneapolis outscored Eastside 9-5. The other three goals scored by the Freeze came later in the second. Forward Adam Porter received a pass from Marcus Fiori. The next two goals by Seth Noble (one assist from Fiori) closed out the second period and left a score of 18-5.
The third period didn’t see as much offense as the first two did. Noble and Glazier finished out the scoring for the Freeze, with assists from Porter and Ryan Grant. The Wheat Kings closed out the third with five goals.
Freeze backup goalie Dean Johnson gave starter Brandon Delyea a breather to start the second period. Johnson faced 14 shots and allowed six of them. Delyea was bombarded with 39 shots and allowed 17 of them.
Eastside will get an opportunity to even the series up against the Wheat Kings on Aug. 6 in Hastings, at 7 p.m.