UCO Hockey- Brad Bowes
01/27/2024 – #3 UCO Hockey splits their Las Vegas road trip and splits season series against the
#5 ranked Skating Rebels. UCO had an impressive 2 – 0 win on Friday night, and a close 3 – 2
defeat on Saturday. A lot of good things happened for the Bronchos on the weekend, but UNLV
finally figured out how to get the puck past Broncho goaltender Doug Wakelyn in the final 30
minutes of their 120-minute weekend clash.
On Friday night the two stars were Wakelyn and Sam Sykes who put forth the most impressive
stat lines. Wakelyn turned in a 42 save shutout while Sykes was the only goal scorer from either
team. The Rebels were on the prowl throughout the game, but Doug Wakelyn mightily bailed the
Bronchos out from many great opportunities as the Bronchos spent much of the game trying to
get a feel for the opposing team.
The game was even throughout and while the Bronchos struggled to maintain possession and get
good chances at 5 on 5, UNLV was getting shots and opportunities from all over the ice. With 53
seconds left in the game, Sam Sykes broke through for the Bronchos on a second chance
opportunity after Benedetto made the first save on Sykes’ shot attempt. Sykes stuck with it and
was rewarded as the puck trickled in. This was enough to give the Bronchos the win, but for
good measure Sykes capped it off with an empty netter shortly after.
In Saturday’s affair UCO was much more comfortable from the jump, able to take control of the
game early by way of an Artem Shura shot from the point, which was an opportune time to get
his first goal of the season. Then again 20 minutes later the Bronchos scored on the powerplay,
Vitali Mikhailov walked in from the point and sniped one past Benedetto to give the Bronchos a
The scoring wasn’t over for the 2 nd period as UNLV managed to finally break the spell Doug
Wakelyn put on the net as they got in behind the Broncho defense and slipped one past Wakelyn
to bring them within one. It took UNLV 64 shots to beat Wakelyn on the weekend, however,
beating him was able to give the Skating Rebels momentum to build on going into the third
period. The Rebels found two more goals in the 3 rd period making it a 3 – 2 game with less than 7
minutes for the Bronchos to find their way back into it. In the end the Bronchos were unable to
score and couldn’t quite get the right chance with an empty net, leaving the Rebels victorious on
These two teams will not see each other again in the regular season, but the Rebels are
undoubtedly a team that will be making a strong push for the championship trophy in St. Louis
Missouri come early March. Look for your Bronchos to be competing with them for that trophy
As the season passes the 3-quarter mark and the rankings start to become increasingly more
important, the Bronchos will look to finish strong and build momentum before playoffs. The last
quarter of the season favors the Bronchos with every matchup being very winnable. It should
provide Head Coach Mike Rivera an opportunity to nail down his depth chart and get a couple of
key pieces back from injury.
The Bronchos start the final quarter of the season against a feisty #20 ranked Missouri State
Bears team that that UCO has already tamed twice this season and looks to do two more times.
The games will be played at Jordan Valley Ice Park in Missouri on Friday and Saturday night,
game times are 7pm and 6pm respectively.
Scoring Recap (Friday)
0 – 0 End of Period 1
0 – 0 End of Period 2
1 – 0 (Sykes. Regan, Burton)
2 – 0 (Sykes. Guerra, Burton) End of Game.
Scoring Recap (Saturday)
1 – 0 (Shura. St. Clair) End of Period 1
2 – 0 (Mikhailov. Stalzer, Hogan)
2 – 1 (Golant. Mccollum, Dal Monte) End of Period 2
2 – 2 (Kelly. Dal Monte, Mccollum)
2 – 3 (Dimizio. Burke, Dal Monte) End of Game.