The UTEP Miners hosted the Dallas Baptist Patriots in a battle for first place in the TCHC. DBU entered the weekend 11-4 while the Miners were 11-1.
The Miners came out hot Friday night as Matt Sanca, Lukas Znosko and Dalton Monaghan all found the back of the net to put the Miners up 3-0. During the first, the Miners were able to kill off 5 DBU power plays.
The second period the Miners once again came out strong. But once again they found themselves in the penalty box. The Miners were shorthanded 6 times in the second, however it didn't slow down the scoring for the Miners. Lukas Znosko scored twice during the second period including a shorthanded goal. Alek Lazarski was also sharp stopping all 10 shots in the second.
As the third period started, the Miners were up 5-0 but were on the penalty kill. DBU was able to find the back of the net on the powerplay and even strength to pull to 5-2. However, Jeramy Rezaeepour put the Miners up 6-2 with a shorthanded goal. DBU wasn't finished as they scored once again on the powerplay but the Miners would answer as Matt Sanca would score to finish the game 7-3.
Saturday night's contest proved to be a much closer contest. Nick Howell put the Miner's up 1-0 in the first minute of play. However, DBU would find the back of the net shortly after to tie up the game. Leading scorer Znosko would score his second shorthanded goal of the weekend to put the Miners up 2-1 after the first period.
After a relatively calm first period, the scoring opened up as well as the penalty box door. The Miners would find themselves shorthanded for four times but also on the man advantage three times. DBU tied up the game in the first period, but Brett Bloor would put the Miners back up 3-2 after a nice pass from Matt Sanca across the slot back door. Jeramy Rezaeepour would score shorthanded for the Miners to put the team up 4-2, however DBU would rally back and score three straight goals to take the lead 5-4. However, before the period would end, Rezaeepour would score on the powerplay to even the score 5-5.
In the third period, the Miners found themselves once again killing four straight penalties. Znosko would score the game winning goal and Lazarski would close the door as the Miners won 6-5.
It was a hard fought weekend between the Patriots and Miners. Both teams will enjoy the break. The Miners will resume play when Texas A&M comes to town January 8th and 9th. Both games are at 7:30pm.
Happy Holidays from the Miners Hockey Club. See you in 2017!!