Historic Weekend for Ice Raiders in Sweep of Pioneers

By Phillip Goodman

November 7, 2023

The Ice Raiders' goaltending tandem of Justin Sand and Justis Gyori combined for 120 scoreless minutes against the Park City Pioneers, giving Reno uncontested wins of 12-0 on Friday and 10-0 Saturday. 

In the games presented by Nevada Retina Associates, Sand played the first two periods of each tilt stopping 19 total shots and gave way to Gyori in the third both nights. Gyori shut the door on all 10 shots he saw in 40 minutes for the first ever Lone Wolf's Chop Rodz tandem-shutout and sweep in Reno Ice Raiders' history.

Another historic marker belongs to Jeff Jiron, who owns the Ice Raiders franchise record for consecutive games played. His ironman streak dates back to the Raiders' birth in NorCal.

"It's been a crazy ride starting off with one fan in the stands back in Vacaville and then coming to Reno and having this," said Jiron, likely referring to "this" as two-plus seasons of sellout crowds for every game. "I just gotta stay out there and keep living the dream. It's easy when you've got a team of guys like this. It makes you wanna keep coming back every game every weekend and I really don't know if I'm gonna stop." 

And why should he stop? With a shortage of available forwards on Friday Jiron was moved up from the blue line to center, a position he hasn't played since before his Utah college days back in '06-'07, he said. Jiron won a respectable 56% of his draws, had one assist, and was +3 on Friday before going back to defense on Saturday. He added two more helpers in a +6 effort on Saturday.

In amassing a 22-goal weekend, the Ice Raiders only needed one goal on the Brewer's Cabinet Power Play. Reno successfully killed all seven Peterson Wealth Management Penalty Kills capped by Johnny Garrity's shorthander on Friday. 

Offensively for Reno through the series, Garrity led the way with 5G/1A/+8 and was nearly matched by Ramzy Anderson's line of 4G/1A/+6. In total, 10 players had at least one TNT Yard Service Goal, 19 players had at least one Sierra Sid’s Casino assist in the 45 assists awarded, and they all combined for a staggering +103.

Even the collective Reno crowd contributed to the historics of the series. This weekend's 50/50 opportunity drawing benefiting Reno Ice's 12U Travel squad raised nearly $1000, the largest pot ever for a home weekend. One generous fan on Saturday declined their winnings, essentially giving back a $500 split to the youth program.

To watch all the goals and more, scroll down through the description for the hyperlinked jumps for each game. 

The Ice Raiders are off for Veterans Day weekend then the weekend following that will head north to McCall, Idaho for a series against the Mountaineers. Most Ice Raiders fans remember the last series with the Mountaineers in Reno. Bobby Watson scored an epic game-tying goal in the dying seconds of regulation only to fall in OT. But the two teams split their season at two apiece and they'll face each other four times again, two there and two in Reno. 

Reno will host the Fire Department of New York on Dec 1st and 2nd at The Jennifer M. O’Neal Community Ice Arena. FDNY opened Reno's '22-'23 season with a pair of defeats so the Ice Raiders are looking for revenge. Tickets will go on sale around Thanksgiving weekend.