The Mason City Toros face the Willmar WarHawks tonight for just their fourth road game this season and their last of the month tonight at 7:10 p.m. at the Willmar Civic Center Arena.
The Toros dropped both games last weekend against the Rochester Grizzlies. Friday, Mason City and Rochester combined to score eight goals in the second period but the Grizzlies’ four-goal first period buoyed them in a game they never trailed.
Saturday, the Toros trailed by two after the first period but tied the game early in the third on a power play goal before the Grizzlies scored the game-winner 10 minutes later and added a couple empty-net goals in the final two minutes.
While Mason City’s penalty kill has been excellent (87-percent, second-best in the NA3HL West Division), their power play is looking to light the lamp more regularly. Sota Isogai’s third-period tally on a five-minute power play last Saturday marked the Toros’ only power play goal in their last 17 man-advantage opportunities.
Willmar enters the weekend second in the West Division and has won three of its last four games with the only loss in that span coming in overtime last Saturday against Alexandria. The WarHawks have twice scored 10-or-more goals in a game this season with both efforts coming in back-to-back games (Sept. 25, 11-0 win at Minnesota; Oct. 2, 10-2 win vs Alexandria). Willmar leads the West Division in goals with 35, while their 15 goals allowed are the second-fewest.
It’s a quick turnaround for the Toros as they will face the WarHawks again tomorrow but this time at the Mason City Arena for a 3 p.m. puck drop. Tomorrow will be the first of six consecutive home games for the Toros. They are 2-1 at the Mason City Arena so far and are playing nine of this season’s first 13 games in the River City. Tickets are still available at masoncitytoros.com/tickets.