FOR THE LOVE OF HOCKEY…
A LOOK AT UNLV’S OPENING WEEKEND
BY BETHANY DRYSDALE
Las Vegas – Friday marked the beginning of the 2019-20 UNLV Rebels D1 Men’s hockey season with a 2-1 victory over rival Colorado University. A core group of veterans took to the ice at the City National Arena with some new faces wearing the Rebels black and red uniforms. Freshman goaltender Dorian Laganiere got the start against the #19 Colorado Buffaloes. Scoring first was #13 UNLV’s top line with newcomer Jayson Dimizio notching the first goal of the season. He was assisted by center Jared Turcotte and senior Eric Williams. The Rebels were in midseason form as they outshot and outplayed the Buffaloes.
The Buffs scored in the second period, but the game-winner came from Rebel freshman Brendan Manning late in the second period. Assisted by veteran Jake Saxe and rookie Jake Berry. That would carry the Rebels to victory in a scoreless 3rd period. The packed crowd gave the boys a standing ovation to welcome them all back to ice, as they ended Game One of the weekend with a victory. The Rebels finished with a solid 37 shots on goal to Colorado’s 10.
Saturday afternoon’s game saw more of the Rebels dominance we have come to expect from the nationally ranked team. Senior Erik Eidissen started in goal and stopped 24 of 26 shots faced. The scoresheet is loaded with names from last season, as well as the new faces needed to fill the spot lost to graduation. Pax Malone got the sirens going with assists from Jayson Dimizio and Jake Berry on a powerplay goal. The special teams accounted for 4 of the 7 Rebels goals, as Colorado could not stay out of the penalty box. Scoring next on a powerplay was D’Andre John assisted by Eric Williams. Then veteran John Moeller scored with an assist from Jake Berry, his 2nd of the day. At the end of 1, it was 3-0 Rebels.
Kane Toriumi came out in the second period scoring on a tight shot, getting help from D’Andre John and Connor Hetzel. Colorado finally got onto the scoresheet in mid 2nd period, but their constant penalities thwarted any momentum. Scoring his second powerplay goal of the game was D’Andre John at the end of the 2nd period. He was assisted by Eric Williams and Jake Saxe. Entering the 3rd period with a 5-1 lead, Jared Erickson made it 6-1 on a quick shot past the goaltender.
With five minutes left in the game, senior defenseman Eric Williams scored the Rebels 7th goal, assisted by Brendan Manning. Colorado scored their second and final goal with 2:47 left in the game, but it was not enough to stop the Rebels winning 7-2.
The Rebels travel to Arizona this week for a 3-game series, beginning with Grand Canyon University on Thursday. The Rebels have also been added to the Western Collegiate Hockey League for the 2020-21 season. Look for all of the Rebels highlights and game livestreams @unlvrebelhockey on Twitter.
Bethany Drysdale was voted Best Hockey Writer by our readers here on Vegas Hockey