Saturday, February 25, 2017

“I told the boys after this game our plan never changed. It may have taken a different path but our goal was to take a run at the National Championship. Proud of them and how they played for each other. First team in our program history to head for the U.S. Nationals.”

— Anthony Greener, head coach UNLV Rebels, from the locker room

By Lee Samuels

UNLV is going to the Show. The Rebels in a must win game beat Denver University 6-2 in a ACHA D2 Western Division eliminator game in Greeley, Colorado on Saturday to advance to the U.S. Nationals which will be March 15-19 in Columbus, Ohio.

Niklas Giers scored two goals and Viktor Brask, Jake Saxe, Cody Williams and Kory Grahl also scored. Goalie Alex Feese had 37 saves.  UNLV heightened its season record to a best ever 30-7-2.

UNLV head coach Anthony Greener, a captain and the greatest who ever played for the Rebels, was on a number of UNLV teams which played in the Western Regionals but none of those were able to advance to the U.S. Nationals. He and coach Nick Robone have been voted Vegas Hockey’s Coaches of the Year for two straight seasons.

The UNLV coaches reconstructed the shape of the Rebels team this season by adding elite goalies and defensemen who were a vital difference in the great run the team had this season.

The Western teams who have qualified for the Western Regionals so far include Williston State – North Dakota; Northern Arizona University (NAU) and UNLV.  Utah State and Northern Colorado are in an eliminator game today which will determine who will be the fourth Western team at the U.S. Nationals.

In Columbus, UNLV will play its games at the Ohio Heathcare Chiller Ice Rinks.

ACHA D2 Western Regionals

Greeley, Colorado

Final 4 Game

Winner Goes to U.S. Nationals

FINAL SCORE

UNLV 6

DENVER U 2

UNLV starting lines

Ethan Montoya, Jake Saxe, Dion Antisn

Defense – Trevor Ruiz, Steven Terry

Goalie – Alex Feese 9-0-0

Scoring

–First Period–

UNLV – Viktor Brask 26th goal this season – assists Dion Antisin, Bas Assaf – powerplay goal, 0:45.3 left in period

–Second Period–

UNLV – Jake Saxe 29th goal – assists Ethan Montoya, Tristan Mayer

UNLV – Cody Williams 35th goal – assist Tristan Mayer

UNLV – Niklas Giers 15th goal – assist Bas Assaf

–Third Period–

UNLV – Niklas Giers 16th goal – assists Viktor Brask, Dion Antisin

UNLV – Kory Grahl 8th goal – empty net goal – assist Ethan Montoya

Shots on Goal

Denver 39-34

UNLV Goalie Alex Feese 37 saves