Thursday, February 14, 2019

By Bethany Drysdale 

Las Vegas – On Thursday night the #11 UNLV Rebels played their first of three final home games. Despite being Valentine’s Day there was no love lost between the Rebels and their opponent. Facing off against #9 Minot State Beavers (14-5-2) for the third time this season the Rebels hoped to win the final matchup. Starting in the Rebels net was Ben Giesbrecht who was tested quickly by the Beavers. Minot State scored first at 3:12 in the first period on a fast pass up the middle, where Gejdos’ back-handed shot passed Giesbrecht on the glove side. UNLV’s power play unit struggled all night to find the net, going 0 for 6 on the power play. It was an uphill battle for much of the game for the Rebels. Facing a team that was bigger and faster, the Rebels needed to play smart hockey. A task that is normally their key to victory, but sloppy passes and some lingering injuries slowed all of their scoring efforts. At the end of one shots on goals favored the Beavers with 7 while the Rebels had 4.

The second period picked up tempo as the Rebels were on three power plays in the period. A solid defensive effort on both sides kept the score the same through the second period at 1-0. UNLV caught up to the Beavers on shots on goal at the end of two. Minot had 13 shots on goal to UNLV’s 12.

The third period started with 32 seconds left on a UNLV power play. Then Minot’s Founier found linemate Carter streaking to the net scoring the second Beaver goal with 15:59 left in the game. The third Beaver goal came a fast 39 seconds later, when Sheldon scored on a breakaway, going top shelf glove side with 15:20 to play. Cody Williams, for the Rebels, tried to spark the offense with a breakaway short-handed shot, but was stopped by Beaver goalie Effertz. With a four minute, double minor, the Rebels had the advantage and pulled Giesbrecht off for an extra attacker in the final moments of the game. With 40 seconds left on the clock the Beaver’s Metcalf scored an empty net goal to seal the victory for the away team.

It was a tough loss for the Rebels on home ice against a quality ACHA Division 1 team. The Rebels need to put this passed them and focus on the Friday night game against the Jamestown Jimmies. Puck drop is 7:30 pm. There are only two more chances for the Rebels on home ice this season, so come out and support the seniors as they try to end their careers with two more home wins. It should be noted that the Rebels faces the Jimmies on November 8 and cruised to a 6-1 victory.

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Bethany Drysdale was voted by our readers as the Best Writer on Vegas Hockey