UW Hockey Club Improves to 7-4
by University of Wyoming
November 10, 2008
The University of Wyoming hockey club won two of three weekend games to improve to 7-4 this season.
The Cowboys defeated South Dakota State University 5-3 Friday at the Laramie Community Ice Arena and split a pair of games at the Taco John's Events Center in Cheyenne, losing 10-1 Saturday to Dordt College of Iowa and winning 6-5 Sunday in overtime against the University of South Dakota.
UW displayed a balanced offensive attack over the weekend, with nine players scoring goals and 12 players recording assists.
"It's really nice to have so many guys who are able to contribute. It takes some of the pressure off our top scorers and allows them to concentrate more on the defensive side of the game rather than carry such a heavy burden," UW Coach Shawn Rockey says. "We have a very deep offensive team, especially since some of the new players are stepping up and creating opportunities, and that's helping us put more points on the board."
He adds, "I think it really gives the team a lot of confidence when there are more than just a select few players who can score and contribute to the game."
In the Cowboys' first game of the weekend, Graham Barrett (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Tad Bernet (Katy, Texas), Michael Leriger (Houston, Texas), Craig Luplow (Sheridan) and Brandon Moore (Littleton, Colo.) scored goals and Robert Kola (Colorado Springs, Colo.) turned aside 24 shots to earn the win in goal.
Lucas Wescoat (Idaho Falls, Idaho) added two assists for UW. Leriger, Rick Comer (Gillette) and Willie Forbes (Casper) also had assists.
The Cowboys hoped to exact a measure of revenge against Dordt College in their second game. But the Blades, who eliminated UW from last year's American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Pacific Regional Tournament, scored three goals in the first period and four more in the second to ice the Cowboys' upset bid.
Team president Elliott Bauder (Douglas) netted the Cowboys' lone goal, on an assist from Willy Miller (Arvada, Colo.).
With four wins in the past five games, Dordt College (9-3) has established itself among the Pacific Regional's elite teams again this season. The Blades won their three weekend games by a combined score of 27-4.
UW rebounded in its final game of the weekend, beating the Fighting Sioux club squad on Bernet's unassisted goal at 2:05 of overtime.
Barrett, Comer, Miller, Erik Blomberg (Parker, Colo.) and Nate Olsen (Pinedale) also scored goals for the Cowboys, who won despite squandering leads of 3-1 and 5-3.
Six players -- Bernet, Blomberg, Miller, Ryan Allred (Laramie), Cody Leeper (Jackson) and Ryan Tufte (Jackson) -- notched assists for UW. Drew Luplow (Sheridan) made 18 saves in goal for the win.
"The first 11 games haven't been a cakewalk, that's for sure, but we're learning about our strengths and weaknesses and that's important," Rockey says. "The team has yet to find that win-at-all-costs mindset, but we're progressing in a positive direction. That's the kind of mindset we need to have to survive in this region this year. There are so many great teams in the Pacific Regional and that means we have to show up to every game and take it to our opponents."
The Cowboys conclude a nine-game, three-city homestand this weekend with two games against Metro State College. Faceoffs are scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14, in Laramie and Saturday, Nov. 15, in Cheyenne.