Friday, February 22, 2019

By Bethany Drysdale

Boulder, Colorado – The #11 UNLV Rebels took on the #19 Colorado University Buffaloes at the Boulder Recreational Center. The last meeting between the two teams back in September produced two wins for the Rebels and they hoped to continue their win streak here Friday night. For the Buffs the stakes were even higher in this game, needing a win as well as Jamestown and Alabama losses to keep their playoff hopes alive but the Buffs did not get the result they needed. Ben Giesbrecht started in the Rebels net getting the shutout win after his big shootout win the previous night. Early in the first period, it was all Rebels, dominating puck possession, solid forechecking and creating turnovers in the neutral zone. Scoring first for the Rebels with 8:40 left in the first period was Tristan Mayer, assisted by Bas Assaf. The Rebels lead was never in question, from that point on. 

Colorado struggled in the second period, with sloppy puck passes and could not keep possession. With 5:20 gone in the second Cody Williams took advantage of a 5 on 4 opportunity to score five-hole as a Buffs player made his way to the bench giving the Rebels a 2-0 lead. Speed and momentum favored UNLV all night as they quickly scored three more goals. Tristan Mayer scored the third goal, assisted by Joe Kaszupski and Sean Plonski with 12:27 left in the second. Forty seconds later it was defenseman Tommy Harrison putting the puck in the elbow gap, as he skated at an odd angle while scoring the Rebels fourth goal. The Rebels were on the final seconds of a power play when they scored their fifth goal. John Moeller, assisted by Mayer and Williams, connected to put the Rebels in excellent position going into the final period.

The final period started with the Rebels on the power play, putting several shots on goal. D’Andre John put the game beyond reach halfway in the third period, adding the sixth and final goal. A big hit in the Buffs zone, knocking a CU defenseman out of position, and a juicy rebound gave John the perfect opening for his goal, assisted by Zach Lawson and Jordan Rea.  The Rebels third and fourth lines got more ice time in the final minutes of the game, setting up more shots on goal. Outplaying the Buffs all game long, the Rebels can use this momentum going into the Saturday night game here.

Watch the Rebels on Saturday night 6 pm pacific time to do it all over again, as they play their third and final game of the weekend. Each win this weekend and the two games against Stony Brook in New York next week are important for UNLV’s positioning in the upcoming ACHA Divsion 1 tournament in Texas.