Tuesday, September 13, 2016

HERE COMES SAN DIEGO STATE

By Lee Samuels

Las Vegas – Opening Night is this weekend and guess who is coming to town – San Diego State, one of UNLV’s all-time great rivals, on Friday night at the Las Vegas Ice Center.

Which means the first bad-intention check on the north rinkboards will be in about 10 seconds.

UNLV head coach Anthony Greener knows about the heat in these games because he played on the top line for the Rebels in many games against SDSU.

So what’s on Greener’s blue-line notebook checklist for Opening Night?

And what’s really on that folded piece of paper which coach Greener looks at all game long?

“The checklist for Opening Night is this – we are getting our guys wired into our basic system for this weekend – stressing this is Rivalry Weekend. These games against San Diego State mean a lot to me and all of the UNLV guys here who played them before.

“We need our players to buy into all of the little things the right way – like blocking shots, back checking, take and give hits. We expect a good week of practice to be ready.”

And what’s on that small folded piece of paper in his suit jacket? During the heat of a game he pulls the notes out of his coat pocket, looks at them, studies, then puts them back in the coat pocket all three periods of a game.

“Those are my line combos, power play setups, penalty kills, what we do in different scenarios of the game, up and down by one goal, face off draws, that kind of stuff,” said Greener, who is bringing a backup of six Bic pens.

Plus Gramps, the long time unofficial GM of the Rebels, is expected to be on the bench. He keeps track of players sticks. There will be dozens lined up against the back wall.

Game time Friday is 8 pm. On Saturday, faceoff is 3 pm. Both games will be on North Rink.

From the Blue Line –  UNLV is coming off a 24-8-2 season, ranked #9 in the West. In the ACHA Western Regionals UNLV eliminated San Diego State 5-1…Last winter UNLV’s Bryden Marsh (40 goals) and Cody Williams (39) led the team…Coaches Anthony Greener and Nick Robone will be on the Rebels bench…The UNLV starting lines for Friday night will be released later this week.