SDSU hockey loses 6-2 to UNLV

by Meghan Lanigan, Contributor

San Diego State men’s club hockey started and ended the first period Friday night against UNLV’s Skatin’ Rebels the same way: with a goal. After that, SDSU didn’t score again and lost 6-2.

“It’s kind of one of those games you forget about,” head coach Ted Powers said.

Goaltender Connor O’Brien had the same thing to say after the game.

“We’ve got to start working on keeping our heads strong and having a short-term memory,” O’Brien said.

The Aztecs took an early lead Friday night when forward Patrick Miller scored the first goal of the game 1:49 into the first period. Less than five minutes later UNLV forward Austin Shannon tied it up with an assist from left wing Mitchell Province.

The Rebels’ second goal of the period by forward Cody Williams scored off assists from defenseman Axle Anderton and right wing Bryden Marsh put them in the lead with 12:33 remaining in the first period.

It looked like the Aztecs were going to end the first period down 2-1 when, with 43 seconds to go, forward Hayden Bolls tied it up.

SDSU had its third goal waved off by referees with 16:39 to go in the second period and the Aztecs didn’t look the same after that.

“We got very unlucky with some goals,” Powers said.

The Aztecs were able to keep the score tied 2-2 until 2:05 remained in the second period.

With SDSU defending its net during the night’s first power play, the Rebels’ consistent passing tripped up the Aztecs, and Williams scored his second goal of the night off assists from Marsh and Shannon.

“In the past we’ve been able to force it and do some things, and got away with it, and this team’s not going to let us do that,” Powers said.

The third period began like the second period ended, with another goal from UNLV’s Williams with 13:32 remaining. That gave Williams the hat trick.

With just over 10 minutes left to play in the game, Powers called a timeout.

“I asked, ‘Does anyone think we’re out of this game?’ And they all said no,” Powers said.

Powers said at that point the defense was irrelevant and put everyone on offense.

“Get the puck and put it on the net was basically the message,” Powers said of the discussion in the huddle.

Except it didn’t work.

With just over two minutes to go in the game, UNLV scored twice. The last goal for the Rebels came off an empty Aztec net by defenseman Trey Johnson.

The Aztecs were also down four players this game and it showed.

Defensemen Vincent DiMaggio and Alec Snow were out due to injuries, but Snow could be back next week. Snow has a broken wrist and may get a cast that still allows him to play. DiMaggio has a dislocated shoulder, according to a team spokeswoman.

“I mean, to me, injuries are part of the game, but those are big guys,” Powers said of not having two of his best defensemen on the ice Friday night.

Defenseman Martin Koutny is also out serving a four-game suspension because he had his third disqualification last week against Northern Arizona University.

O’Brien had 42 saves against UNLV and said it’s his teammates attitude that pushes him.

“I can appreciate the fact that I know I can come to the rink every day and they’re going to work just as hard for me as I work for them,” O’Brien said. “That’s part of the reason why I work so hard out there and make those saves, is because those guys keep me going.”