Friday, March 21, 2019
By Bethany Drysdale
Day Two from the Comerica Center in Frisco, Texas was another early game for the #13 UNLV Skatin’ Rebels. They faced the four-time ACHA D1 Champion #4 Ohio Bobcats, who ended the Rebels season one year ago in Columbus, Ohio. The team from Athens, Ohio, looked to play spoiler for the second time, as they scored their first goal five minutes into the game. OU’s defenseman Jake Houston sent one into the back of the net from the point, going glove side on Ben Giesbrecht, for a power play goal. The seesaw battle between the two evenly matched teams continued through the first period. In the final 2:20 of the first period, Cody Williams skated behind the OU goal, putting the wraparound in an attempt for a controversial goal. The net was dislodged during Williams’ attempt, prompting a quick no goal call on the ice, but was quickly reviewed, giving Williams his first goal of the tournament, assisted by Joseph Kaszupski and Tristan Mayer. At the end of one shots favored UNLV 10 to OU’s 8.
Starting the second with 1:41 left on a power play, the Rebels struggled on special teams to capitalize on the man advantage throughout the game. UNLV dominated the second period with their speed and puck possession. Halfway through the second, UNLV had 15 shots to OU’s 9. But Ohio was not going down easy, scoring their second goal of the game with five minutes left in the second. Tyler Harkins went 2 on 1, finding the far side of the net open, shooting above Giesbrecht’s glove. Still, UNLV was out shooting the Bobcats 20 to 15 at the end of two.
Another wasted powerplay, early in the third period, hurt the momentum of UNLV, as they were stopped on all attempts to score against OU’s Jimmy Thomas. Five minutes into the third, the Bobcats scored their third goal of the game, and second scored by Tyler Hawkins, over Giesbrecht’s blocker. From here it was all Ohio finishing out the game, scoring two more times to move on to play Sunday. With under ten minutes left in the game, OU’s Lubin scored on a one-timer, an odd man rush for the fourth goal. In the final 3:30, the Rebels pulled their goaltender for the extra attacker, but the attempted resulted in an hat trick for Tyler Hawkins, bringing the final score 5 to 1, Bobcats.
It has been a honor to follow UNLV season this year. With many players returning, look for the Rebels to be back into the ACHA D1 Nationals next season. We wish all the best to the Ohio Bobcats as they continue their path to the finals. Go Rebels and see you when you gets home guys!
Bethany Drysdale was voted by our readers as the Best Writer here on Vegas Hockey