UCO Hockey-Brad Bowes
01/13/2023 – UCO Hockey squeak out two overtime victories against a conference opponent in
the Colorado Buffalos. Zach Guerra had the overtime winner on Friday and Sam Sykes put home
the game winner Saturday after 3 unanswered goals from the Bronchos were enough to extend
UCO Hockey battled through two tough matchups this weekend against a strong Buffalos
defense and strong goaltending from both of their netminders. In total the Buffs goaltenders saw
85 shots and saved all but 7 of them. The Buffalos defense was able to stifle multiple second
chance opportunities and snuff out many grade A chances from the Bronchos in both games.
In Friday’s affair the Bronchos were in control for most of the game, but struggled to shake the
pesky Buffs as they hung within 1 goal for the entirety of the game, not letting UCO get
comfortable. UCO started off the scoring in the first period by way of Zach Guerra, who was
without a doubt the most valuable contributor for the Bronchos this weekend. Vitali Mikhailov
had the other regulation goal for the Bronchos in this game as well as an assist on the overtime
winner to Zach Guerra.
Marcinkavicious had both of Colorado’s goals on the night and scored the equalizer with just
under 2 minutes of regulation left to be played sending this game towards a 3v3 overtime
showdown. One in which the Buffalos were stampeding early on with a couple of high-quality
chances to start the sudden death. Although in typical Broncho fashion they came up clutch when
Mikhailov was able to jump on a loose puck and get to the middle of the slot where he rifled a
shot low but wide, so hard that it ricocheted off the back wall and right to Guerra. Zach Guerra
had beaten his defender back to the net front and found the rebound to lift home a goal on the
front doorstep which secured the Broncho’s first victory.
Saturday’s game displayed no less of a dogfight than Friday, with a relatively great game from
Colorado throughout. At one point late in the second period the Buffs were within 4 shots of the
Bronchos with totals of 26 – 30 respectively, largely due to the high volume of penalties and
momentum shifts as the game endured.
The Bronchos were down by 3 goals until Cullen Hogan gave life into the Bronchos on a late
powerplay goal with 1:39 to go in the second period. After building momentum for the final
frame, the Bronchos took another step forward on a powerplay goal from Cooper Krauss with
still 11 minutes to play of regulation, making this a 3 – 2 hockey game in favor of the visiting
Buffalos. Time began to dwindle and the Bronchos were unable to make a consistent effort on
the extra attacker. UCO had less than 30 seconds to play when Cullen Hogan wired a shot from
the half wall, and once again Guerra’s presence in front of the net was huge as he was somehow
able to sniff out the rebound that nobody else could locate to electrify the arena and make things
square for the final 30 seconds.
Overtime was quick, the Bronchos carried with them the tilted ice from Guerra’s goal just 30
seconds earlier. It only took 18 seconds for the Bronchos to find their first chance of the
overtime. Cash Regan was able to carve out some space around the Colorado defense before
whipping a pass backdoor to the streaking Sam Sykes who made no mistake ending this game
The Bronchos will face the Colorado State Rams next weekend in another conference matchup.
The Rams have most recently been ranked at number 23 before the updated rankings come out.
UCO was able to narrowly edge out Colorado State on a road back-to-back earlier this season,
they look to complete the season sweep next weekend as the Rams travel to Edmond for a
showdown in the Broncho Barn on Friday and Saturday night.
Scoring Recap (Friday)
1 – 0 (Guerra. Dubecky, Regan) End of Period 1
1 – 1 (Marcinkavicious. unassisted)
2 – 1 (Mikhailov. Stalzer, Hogan) End of Period 2
2 – 2 (Marcinkavicious. Pearson, McConoughy) End of Period 3
3 – 2 (Guerra. Mikhailov) End of Game.
Scoring Recap (Saturday)
0 – 1 (Pearson. Pasiennik) End of Period 1
0 – 2 (Borghi. Kittay)
0 – 3 (Marcinkavicious. Issa)
1 – 3 (Hogan. Burton) End of Period 2
2 – 3 (Krauss. Sykes, Regan)
3 – 3 (Guerra. Hogan) End of Period 3
4 – 3 (Sykes. Regan) End of Game.