Sunday, January 13, 2019

HERE IS HOW UNLV DID IT – BEATING #7 ARIZONA

By Bethany Drysdale

Tucson – One word can only describe tonight’s UNLV game – resilient. Taking on their 4th game in 5 days, the Rebels looked to bounce back from a heart-breaking overtime loss to the Arizona Wildcats in Tucson. Twenty-four seconds after the puck dropped the Wildcats took a 1-0 lead. They applied excellent forechecking pressure on the UNLV defense to put one right past Rebels goalie Ben Giesbrecht. But the resilient Rebels settled down and owned the rest of the first period. Keeping constant speed and pressure on the Wildcats the Rebels tied it up with 4:03 remaining in the first. Pax Malone put a nice backhand shot through the middle of the goaltenders pads, assisted by D’Andre John and Eric Williams. Three minutes later on the power play, with 1:17 left, Jared Turcotte redirected a shot down the middle for the 2nd UNLV goal, assisted by Bas Assaf and Cody Williams. At the end of one, UNLV had 10 shots on goal and 11 for Arizona.

The fire was lit for UNLV beginning the second period. Kane Toriumi scored his first collegiate goal with a wraparound on the blocker side, assisted by Zach Lawson and Colin Robin with 16:14 left in the second. Giesbrecht made tremendous saves, even with the net becoming dislodged multiple times and Wildcats players crashing into him full speed. It was on an UNLV penalty that the Wildcats scored their second goal of the game with 12:13 left to go. Leading Arizona scorer, Marshall, made a 3rd goal with 6:49 left to tie it going into the second intermission. The shots on goal were 10 for UNLV, 15 for Arizona in the second period.

With the score tied at 3, the Rebels kept pace with the Wildcats. Zach Lawson scored a short-handed goal at 14:30 on a breakaway, after a costly Arizona turnover. That unassisted goal was the game-winner for the Rebels as they played steady defense for the rest of the game. Even when tempers were heated the cool heads of the Rebels played steady defense for the remainder of the game. Keeping the puck out of the Rebels zone and an aggressive forecheck were the keys to the successful third period and ultimately the win against the #7 ranked Arizona Wildcats. This win capped off an excellent Rebels road trip as well as a confidence boost to begin the spring semester.