Last year, the Menace (2-2-1) took both games of the two-game weekend in Ontario, completing the first sweep of the Chill (3-1-0) on the road since 2006. Des Moines put itself in a good spot to claim two wins again with Friday’s 1-0 shutout to start the weekend, but ultimately fell in the Saturday evening match 2-0.
The Menace traveled north without a couple of the top performers from last week’s 3-0 win over Minneapolis City, most notably hat-trick hero David Zalzman (due to visa issues). Des Moines needed a spark to pull out the win and that came in the form of Hayden Partain.
Partain’s goal in the 26th minute came on a volley direct from a corner. Unmarked at the top of the penalty area, Partain connected on the volley from Joe Kay’s corner. The goal — Partain’s second of the season — allowed Des Moines to climb the table with its second win of the year.
The win was the Menace’s third straight in Thunder Bay. Before last season’s sweep, Des Moines had just one win in 10 tries in Ontario. The only win came in 2014, just a week after Thunder Bay lost its nearly five-year long unbeaten streak at Fort Williams Stadium.
The Chill’s Adam Abdellaoui hit back-to-back goals in the first half to propel the host to its second win over Des Moines in its last nine tries.
After putting his team ahead in the 31st minute, Abdellaoui struck just as quick from the restart. The forward, receiving a long ball from Eddie Sanchez behind the Menace back line, lofted his volley over Menace goalkeeper Austin Kroll to give his team some breathing room a minute after his initial strike.
The Menace will finish out the four-game swing through Canada Monday and Tuesday. Des Moines will see winless Winnipeg (0-6-1) for both games before returning home from Manitoba. Two wins could give the Menace confidence leading into Saturday’s home match with the Chill. In addition to the confidence, two wins would also put the Menace atop the Heartland Division standings with one more game played than current leader Saint Louis Lions (4-2-0).
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