Sunday, November 18, 2018

By Bethany Drysdale

Chicago – UNLV skated to a statement victory to claim first place in the Chicago Classic Tournament over the #6 ranked Illini. Ben Giesbrecht started in goal for the second straight game for the Rebels, picking up key saves throughout the night. But it was the Rebel scoring machine that outpaced the Illini with a 6-1 victory at Johnny’s Icehouse East. After a change of rink location due to Zamboni malfunctions yesterday the Rebels looked to score early against the host school in the championship game.

Jared Turcotte had a huge night for the Rebels, creating a turnover in the neutral zone setting up MVP Joe Kaszupski for the first goal of the game. Getting the assist was Pax Malone on the powerplay at 13:01.

The UNLV penalty kill was very effective shutting down any Illini momentum in this game.

Throughout the game the fast and physical game of Turcotte paced the Rebels, scoring the second goal of the game at 10:57 into the second period. Andrew Marshall and Trever Perverzoff were credited with the assists. Trying to get back into the game the Illini skated towards Giesbrecht in the net who had a huge save at 9:56. Winning faceoffs, speed, and the consistency of the Rebel penalty kill kept the Illini out of sync for much of the game. Another power play goal at 6:37 by Marshall put the game at 3-0. Assisted by Chase Torontow the boys kept their foot on the accelerator. From the faceoff the Rebels took the puck right back down the ice where D’Andre John scored 23 seconds later, going for the five-hole, unassisted to put the Rebels up 4-0! The Illini immediately took a timeout to regroup before going into the 2nd intermission.

The fireworks of goals kept coming for the Rebels early in the 3rd period. Scoring their third power power play goal of the night at 12:39, Andrew Marshall was assisted by Cody Williams. Giesbrecht and the Rebel defense did not give up a goal until 12:22 in the 3rd period.  The Rebels rebounded for a 6th and final goal at 4:13 securing the victory. The team gathered at center ice to hoist the 2018 Chicago Classic Championship trophy. This was a much needed boost for the UNLV program going into the winter break. The next game for the Rebels will be at the Oceanside Ice Arena on January 9, 2019 against desert rival Arizona State University.