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Weekend Recap: Arizona Trip

11/20/2019, 7:30am MST
By Tricia Luna // UTEP Hockey Club

Miners go 3-1 on the road against Arizona teams

As the semester draws to a close, the Miners headed west for a weekend of non-conference play in Arizona. A four-game weekend that would test the Miners skill against some of the better teams in ACHA. 
 
“Four games in four days is tough to do, however, I think the team responded well and was up for the task. It is definitely something the club will have to go through if we want to have success in playoffs and hopefully regionals,” said Coach Herman. “Looking forward, the ETBU/TXST trip will be another test for our team.”
 
 Ending the weekend, 3-1 the Miners worked hard and improved to 15-1 overall.
 
Arizona State is no match for red hot Miners
 
Miners kicked off a four-game road trip Thursday evening at Oceanside Arena against Arizona State. The Sun Devils get on the board 4:49 into the period but the Miners answer back with three goals to take a two-goal lead at the end of the first period. Back for the second period, the Miners never let up on the gas pedal scoring seven goals - Austin Simpson scored three of his five goals during the middle frame. Arizona answers back but can’t keep up and has a seven-goal deficit after 40 minutes. The puck drops for the final frame and Arizona adds to their tally but can’t hold off the Miners losing 11-4.
 
Miners end win streak with 7-0 loss to Northern Arizona 
 
After a short drive north to Flagstaff, the second game was underway. Unable to score, the Miners struggle against the Ice Jacks ending in their first loss of the season. The seventh-place Ice Jacks would hold the Miners to only 20 shots on goal compared to their 41.
 
“Good experience and played hard. NAU was a good team and we played hard, but couldn’t get any bounces or puck luck,” said Herman.
 
Fifteen goals in two games push Miners passed GCU for series sweep
 
Eager to shake off the loss against NAU, the Miners push for control against GCU. While GCU scored first, UTEP responded each time resulting in a one-goal lead after the first 20 minutes. The Miners would add five more goals to their tally ending in a 8-2 win in game one. Ready to cap off the weekend with a sweep, GCU once again opens the scoring but Jayden Ritchie and Austin Simpson put the Miners back in the lead. The Antelopes tie the game again on a power play but once again Jayden Ritchie finds the back of the net and the Miners take back the lead. During the third period, UTEP adds four more goals to hold on for a 7-2 win - the Miners 100th win as a club - and sweep the Antelopes both at home and on the road.
 
Coach Herman wins 100th game
 
In four seasons on the bench for the Miners, Coach Herman has quite the resume. On Sunday, he added another item to the list. With a 7-2 win against Grand Canyon University, Coach Herman notched his 100th win - the Miners 100th win as a club- as the Miners bench boss. “Just goes to show how hard the club has worked and believed in the system since Day 1,” said Herman.
 
With plenty of hockey still left to play in the season, the Miners will wrap up the first semester at home against North Texas Nov. 29 and 30. Following the winter break, UTEP will host Texas A&M, University of Texas and Texas Tech. The Miners will hit the road for their final road game, Jan. 16-19, to faceoff against East Texas Baptist and Texas State.

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