Bronchos’ Power Play

Bronchos’ Power Play

 

The Bronchos’ Hockey team raise their sticks for their home crowd after beating Arkansas 6-0 on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017. (Hayden Barzditis/The Vista)

It was another undefeated week for the University of Central Oklahoma hockey team after beating Missouri State on Thursday and sweeping Arkansas over the weekend, moving the Bronchos to 5-0 on the season.

After escaping with a 4-3 victory over Missouri State, UCO won their first of a two game series against Arkansas 6-4. Then again Saturday night in a big 6-0 victory.

“Every day we go out there we go with speed and finesse,” head coach Craig McAlister said. “We push for faster play, so that’s what we were trying to focus on.”

The first game started when UCO’s captain Josh Wyatt scored five and a half minutes into the first period. Within the next minute, Arkansas’ Alex DeGuire and Chris Salmon would give the Razorbacks a 2-1 lead.

That’s when the tone of the series would be set, as Arkansas suffered a 10 minute penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. There would be a total of 76 penalty minutes in the series.

“Teams like that try and suck us into their game,” Wyatt said. “We just have to stick to the basics and keep it simple.”

At the halfway point through the first period, the Bronchos scored four straight goals, extending out to a 5-2 lead with six minutes left in the second period. They would hold on to this lead.

 In the final game of the week, UCO made a goalie change back to Alex Henry, who got his second shutout of the season.

“Every time they [Arkansas] had a chance to make a play, he shut it down,” McAlister stated.

Many of the shots Henry faced were in key moments when UCO was in a power play kill. The Bronchos spent eight minutes in the penalty box in the second period.

With the need for solid defense, the Bronchos dominated the defensive side of the puck,  allowing 16 shots on goal.

“They got a couple looks but Henry was there and that frustrated them,” McAlister added.

Offensively it was a display of team play that lead to a six goal game. Regan Yew led the Bronchos with two goals, coming in the first and third periods. Gage Joel, Spencer Peratalo and Nial Mills finished with two assists each.

Next weekend the Bronchos face the Lindenwood Lions in a preview of a possible postseason match-up.

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