Wolves sign defenseman Asselstine

ELMIRA — Watertown and Elmira both continue to tune up for the regular season, with the Wolves again getting the upper hand on Saturday night.

Rookie forward Josh Koepplinger scored a pair of goals as the Wolves defeated the Enforcers, 6-2, in a Federal Prospects Hockey League preseason game at First Arena.

Veteran goalie Nick Niedert stopped 32 of 34 shots faced to record the win for Watertown, which beat Elmira, 4-2 in a preseason game on Friday in Watertown.

After the two teams wrap up the preseason with a game at 4:05 p.m. today in Elmira, the Wolves will host the Enforcers at 1 p.m. Wednesday at Watertown Municipal Arena to open the regular season.

Currently, Watertown and Elmira are the only two active teams in the league as they’ll face off another 16 times in the month of February, with eight games being played in each city.

Rookie defenseman Sam Stormoen opened the scoring one minute and 33 seconds into the game to stake the Wolves to a 1-0 advantage, with Tyler Bullard and Koepplinger assisting.

Veteran forward Jason MacDonald followed with a goal 5:10 into the second period for a 2-0 Watertown lead, with Nikolas Kalpouzos assisting.

The game featured several fights, with Wolves’ defenseman Alex Basey taking down the Enforcers’ Taylor Cutting with 9:38 left in the middle period.

After Elmira pulled within 2-1 on Jacob Walters’ goal with 7:59 remaining in the period, Koepplinger scored with 4:25 left to restore Watertown’s two-goal lead.

The Enforcers would again draw within one on Gino Mini’s goal 5:53 into the third period, but Fred Hein and Koepplinger each followed with a power-play goal and rookie Parker Evans-Campbell added a goal for Watertown.

To top things off, Hein and Mini squared off in a fight after regulation ended.

Like on Friday night, no spectators were allowed for Saturday’s game in Elmira, a trend that will continue into the regular season as neither team has received clearance to do so because of coronavirus guidelines set by the state.

After the season opener, the Wolves will host the Enforcers at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, before both teams play in Elmira on Saturday and Sunday.

Last season, both teams qualified for the FPHL playoffs, but the league season was canceled on March 16 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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