Local pro hockey: Tellstrom's hat trick sparks Wolves to second straight win

Dec. 11—WATERTOWN — Mathias Tellstrom continues to enjoy his time back in North America and now with the Watertown Wolves.

Tellstrom scored three goals, including a pair in a pivotal second period, and recorded an assist to spark the Watertown Wolves to a 7-2 triumph over the Elmira Mammoth on Saturday night in a Federal Prospects Hockey League game before 986 fans at Watertown Municipal Arena.

"Absolutely, I think we're playing really good at the moment and getting some momentum going here," said Tellstrom, who is from Sweden. "It's good to be here."

The winger tallied three consecutive goals, including a pair within a span of 59 seconds in the second period.

"He had an unbelievable night," Wolves' interim coach Luke Cohen said of Tellstrom. "His line's been supporting him, we've brought in Anthony Pullicino from Elmira and having him, (Jackson) Bond and Tellstrom on the ice, they play unbelievable together, they seem to find each other on the ice and support each other."

Tellstrom last competed in North America back in the 2017-18 season when he played of Roanoke of the Southern Professional Hockey League. He played the next two years in Sweden, before taking the past two seasons off.

"I have two really good linemates forechecking hard, creating space for me, so I can just shoot the puck," Tellstrom said. "And that's what I'm trying to do here, just shoot the puck and score some goals."

Saturday's outcome was the second straight win for Watertown (7-9), including a 3-1 victory at Elmira on Friday night.

"I think we've come together as a team and really guys are stepping up and putting it on the line," Cohen said. "And we've brought in a couple pieces they've really helped us out tremendously in the locker room and on the ice."

The two wins were the first for the Wolves under Cohen, who entered the season as team's assistant and goalie coach, but was promoted after previous interim coach Justin Coachman was fired by the team 11 games into the season.

"It's part of hockey," Cohen said. "Obviously it's hard seeing someone you played with leave, but it's part of the job and you've got to put it in the rear-view mirror and we did that, and now it's time to win games."

Through Saturday, the Wolves are now 2-2 under Cohen, who played six games as a rookie goalie last season.

"It's ups and downs and I think we went through a lot of stuff," Cohen said. "And we put that all behind us and now we've turned the page and we've won two out of three this week and we've got another game (tonight). So we're looking to take that and make it three out of four on the weekend."

With the Wolves leading 2-1 in the second period, Tellstrom scored on a slap shot from the right faceoff circle 6:07 into the period, with Jackson Bond assisting.

Tellstrom followed this up with another blast, this time for a power-play goal.

"He's been my linemate on and off for most the year," Bond said of Tellstrom. "So I love playing with him, I know that if I get the puck to him, he's going to create a good scoring opportunity for the team. So he's a delight to play with and obviously it showed tonight."

"Absolutely, we've got bodies in front of the net screening the goalie and that helps, too," Tellstrom said.

Tellstrom's second goal of the period chased Elmira starting goalie Richard Shipman, who was replaced by Thomas Proudlock. But Bond scored on Watertown's next shot on for a 5-1 lead at 10:04. A scrum immediately followed the goal after which Proudlock was ejected from the game being assessed a game misconduct for being the aggressor following a fight.

Watertown's Fabian Lehner followed with a power-play goal with 7:31 remaining in the period for a 6-1 lead.

The Wolves led 7-2 on Trevor Lord's goal 2:30 into the third period and Don Carter scored with 9:54 left in regulation for Elmira (4-13) to complete the scoring.

"We just started driving the net, that was it," Bond said of the team's success on Friday and Saturday. "We just started putting pucks on net and getting shots, outshooting teams. I think for the first part of the season, everything we did was try to be too cure and too fancy. And we just got back to the basics and simplified out strategy and our game. Hammered down our systems and just put pucks on net."

Goalie Owen Liskiewicz stopped 28 of 30 shots for the Wolves. He also made 34 saves in Friday's win.

"It's incredible," Bond said. "It was an up-and-down road for the majority of the season, so to kind of settle in and get those two wins against not one of our rivals, but just a team that was right behind us in the standings. It gives us a little breathing room and builds our confidence."

Tellstrom and Wilson each scored in the first period for the Wolves. After Wilson finished off a pass in close from Samuel Hrabcak 7:06 into the game, Tellstrom scored at 12:29, with Jackson Bond assisting.

Stavros Soilis scored a goal 4:01 to draw Elmira to within 2-1.

"Getting the monkey off my back, getting that first goal, it was an easy goal, I just got it to the net," Tellstrom said. "But it got me going, I got another two and had a good night."

Tellstrom made his team debut Oct. 28, also against Elmira, tallying two goals and two assists.

"It's huge, I've got my American-born girlfriend over here, too, so it helps out a lot," Tellstrom said. "I'm glad to back in the States for sure ... I've actually struggled getting a visa for a couple years. But I finally got it this and I'm happy about it."

The Wolves will host the Mammoth at 7 tonight, which is a makeup game of the Nov. 18 game that was postponed because of a snowstorm.

Watertown will then play at Binghamton at 7 p.m. Friday before hosting Danbury at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, with both Empire Division games.

"It's been an adjustment from not playing to being coach," Cohen added. "But (team president and general manager) Curtis (Mosely) has really helped me out in terms of structure and the learning part of it and the boys really helped me out in taking charge of things and getting in the right direction. So it's always a good thing when we talk, we have great communication and that's all you can ask for."