Brad Bowes- UCO Hockey
#2 UCO Hockey drops back-to-back games against #7 Jamestown Jimmies by a total score of 8 – 2. University of Jamestown wore down the Bronchos with their speed and fluid passing. The Jimmies travelled all the way from North Dakota and feature 21 Canadians on their 25-man roster. Teams with a composition like that typically play a different style of hockey that is much more common north of the boarder, it is less physical and more dependent on speed and passing, as we witnessed this weekend.
UCO Hockey lost by a score of 3 – 2 on Friday night and played a well-rounded game. Remaining at the neck of the Jimmies for the entirety of the night, getting a chunk of their best chances in the last 10 minutes of the game. The Bronchos were resilient in trying to tie the game up, but ultimately the weekend was stolen by the University of Jamestown goalie Brandon Weare who played a solid game on Friday and stood on his head in Saturday’s matchup. Ondrej Blaha and Sam Sykes were the only players who were able to beat Weare on the weekend, but Weare made sure it only happened once.
Saturday’s game didn’t exactly yield the prettiest result for the Bronchos, but the score was not indicative of the small stretches of game where UCO looked like the better team. Similar to how the Bronchos finished the game on Friday, the Bronchos had quite a few quality chances against the Jimmies Saturday that just didn’t bounce the right way for the blue and gold. The identifying stat in the ladder contest was the Bronchos inability to stay out of the penalty box. The Bronchos had 1 powerplay to the Jimmies 9 on Saturday night. University of Jamestown is a skilled team, that not only plays fast, but can move the puck skillfully and with purpose. They were able to cash their first 4 goals on the powerplay and that’s really where UCO lost the game. Many of the fans showed their disapproval of referees throughout the game. Mike Rivera took his turn chewing them out before the third period, which ended up causing him to watch the rest of the game from behind the glass. That’s not to say the entirety of the penalty discrepancies were misjudged calls, but UCO did not get any favors until late in the third when the Bronchos were able to coax their only powerplay.
University of Jamestown looked all of their #7 ranking this weekend, and the Bronchos didn’t quite bring their A game in a matchup that could’ve solidified their #2 position in the league. Look for the Jamestown Jimmies to be a team that will run deep into the postseason if they can play like they did this weekend.
UCO will get a weekend off to enjoy their thanksgiving break before finishing the semester with the always highly anticipate rival University of Oklahoma. They will play both games at Arctic Edge Ice Arena, the first matchup will consider the Bronchos the home team, and the matchup on Saturday will be considered a road game for UCO. OU is not ranked currently but they have seen some time in the top 25 this season. A great matchup with a great atmosphere is always on the menu when these two teams are in the building.
Scoring Recap (Friday)
0 – 1 (Wilson. unassisted) End of Period 1.
1 – 1 (Ondrej. Dubecky)
1 – 2 (Wilson. Christensson)
1 – 3 (Macdonald. Baranesky)
2 – 3 (Sykes. Krauss) End of Period 2.
End of Game.
Scoring Recap (Saturday)
0 – 1 (Kromm. Johnson, Susinski)
0 – 2 (Kromm. unassisted)
0 – 3 (Fortin. Susinski, Kromm) End of Period 1.
0 – 4 (Erichuk. Huculak, Poole) End of Period 2.
0 – 5 (Macdonald. Huculak, Johnson) End of Game.