The University of Central Oklahoma Hockey Team opened the 2022-2023 season against #9 ranked Maryville University. The Saints came out very physical against the Bronchos, taking the win Friday evening with a score of 2-1. The Bronchos scored first in the contest as Sam Sykes put UCO on top in the first period with a short handed goal from an assist from Austin Simpson, but that would be the only score from the Bronchos for the evening. Maryville answered early in the second period as JT Prexler tied the score and Lucas Adams added to the Saints score midway in the third period to cap off the contest. “It is hard to win a game when you can not capitalize on power plays,” said Head Coach Micheal Rivera, “we were 0 for 7 on the power play and you can not win games without taking advantage of those types of opportunities.”
Saturday night the Bronchos were eager to answer back from the loss the night before in a high scoring contest from both teams. Midland University transfer, Ondrej Blaha put UCO on the scoreboard first with his first goal as a Broncho early in the first period. Just minutes later, UCO was able to capitalize on yet another short handed goal as Vitali Mikhailov scored a wrap around goal to extend the lead 0-2. Maryville’s Lucas Adams was able to answer on a power play to cut the lead in half. Iowa State transfer, Jackson Zloty took advantage of a 4 on 3 opportunity to tie the score for Maryville. The Bronchos would answer again on a 5 on 3 power play goal with a behind the back assist from Carter Eha to Vitali Mikhailov as he would score his second goal in the contest. UCO newcomer, Jeff Rebmann would add to the Bronchos lead 2-4 headed into the intermission, as Rebmann scores his first goal as a Broncho.
Adam Stalzer would continue the Bronchos scoring early in the second as he was able to redirect a shot into the back of the net, however, the Saints would be quick to respond just 22 seconds later. Maryville’s Garrett Hunter snipped a shot from the point past Doug Wakelyn. The Bronchos would answer back on yet another short handed goal as Leeam Tivers would come off the bench and send a pass to Sam Sykes crashing the net where Sykes would put it past the goal tender, extending the lead for the Bronchos 3-6. Sam Edwards for Maryville would jam in a loose puck in front of the net to close the gap 4-6 headed into the third period.
Maryville would add to their total early in the third as Jake Chartier took a shot from the slot to close within 1 but that is as close as they would get for the evening. The Bronchos would kill several penalties throughout the period to hold onto the lead as the time expired.
UCO split the weekend with the Saints before heading off on the road to defend their WCHL title against Colorado State in Fort Collins, CO at Epic Ice Arena September 30 at 9:00pm MDT on Friday evening and 8:45pm MDT Saturday October 1, 2022.