Thursday, February 2, 2017

By Lee Samuels

Flagstaff, Arizona – UNLV’s mighty hockey team – its best ever – goes into its biggest games beginning tonight against Northern Arizona (NAU) at the Jay Lively Arena.

At stake is a direct route to the U.S. Nationals.

Here is the situation: the top two teams ranked in the ACHA D2 Western Rankings go straight to the U.S. Nationals. Teams ranked #3 through #10 head for the ACHA Western D2 Regionals.

Here is how the rankings look

ACHA D2 WESTERN RANKINGS

#1 WILLISTON STATE  – 13-5-1 – Best Schedule Strength in the West

#2 UNLV REBELS – 25-3-0

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#3 NORTHERN ARIZONA (NAU) – 23-5-1

Which means, UNLV must win these two games against NAU.

“These are our biggest games at NAU no question,” said Anthony Greener, head coach of UNLV. “We’ve had no line changes. We did have an extra practice and all of our team skates went well this week. We head out Thursday morning to Flagstaff.”

Here is UNLV’s game schedule

Thursday – 9:15 pm at Northern Arizona University

Friday – 8:30 pm at Northern Arizona University

Saturday – 6:30 pm vs Arizona State University D2 at Oceanside Arena

These Super Bowl weekend games are the ultra important ones. After this weekend UNLV will play vs Cal State Northridge in a two-game weekend series to close out the regular season.

From the Blue Line –  UNLV defeated NAU twice earlier this season…on home ice NAU is 16-1-0…UNLV has played previously in the ACHA D2 Western Regionals but the Rebels have never played in the U.S. Nationals.