Saturday, October 7, 2017

By Bob Wright

Las Vegas – Well that didn’t take long. UNLV now has its Most Hated Rival in ACHA D1.

Utah University gets that honor after a wild ride of a game which included a line brawl before a sold out crowd on Saturday night at City National Arena.

UNLV, down 3-1 early, worked hard in a tough physical ultra-heated firefight which included rough play in all corners of the ice rink while getting a 10-6 win.

The crowd liked the hot action but all of it took a physical toll on players from both teams – how much we don’t know.

UNLV got outstanding play from captain Jake Kearley who is an imposing force on the ice. Joseph Kaszupski, who has his radar locked onto goal-scoring 24/7 and teammate Elijah Barriga also had awesome games.

UNLV goal scoring in order: Joseph Kaszupski, Jonas Gordon, Elijah Barriga, Jonas Gordon, then Tristan Mayer, Matthew Painchaud, Joseph Kaszupski, Sean Plonski, Mayer again, Barriga.

UNLV goalies Alex Feese and Erik Eidessen split time in the net. Feese started, then stepped into a scrap to help his teammates. While Alex was serving a penalty Erik was in the Rebels net.

UNLV had more shots 32-23 while raising its season record to 5-1-0. 

From the Blue Line – The Nick Robone family – hockey mom Donna, dad Tony and brother Anthony – before the game went to center ice and dropped the opening puck …Utah goalie Patrick Kasper is a cool cat – when this really physical game was over he skated over to some Rebels on the ice and shook hands with them. Patrick, 21, is from Draper, Utah. Last season at Utah he had a 3.22 gaa and a 92.3 save percentage but he faced an all out firestorm of top UNLV hard skating attackers in this game…The big crowd – standing room only at faceoff – was really locked into the game. There were many out of town fans from all parts of the US in north bleachers area…When a player gets hurt on the ice his first instinct is to get back to the safety of his team bench – even if he has to crawl to get there. That happened in this game when a UNLV player was slashed in the ankle area and he tried to get back home to the bench …A few hours after the game UNLV Rebels head coach Anthony Greener however said “physically all of our players are ok.”…UNLV goal scorer Tristan Mayer is an extraordinary player with his determination and his hard action routes to the net in the heat of a game. Tristan is in his second season with the Rebels. He is from Woodbury, Minnesota….UNLV’s unofficial GM Gramps was at the game.