EL PASO — The last home stand of the season began on a high note as the Miners cruised past Dallas Baptist University. Special teams continue to be a key factor for the Miners and they were on full display at the El Paso Events Center on Friday morning.
Fabian Calderon opened the scoring on the power play inside of five minutes from the puck drop. Austin Simpson, Carlo Wittor and Matt Sanca would find twine before the first period was said and done. Despite the score after one, it felt like it could still be a good matchup between the two clubs, DBU did have some opportunity and created some chances in their own zone.
Angus Campbell, however, as he has done all season, was masterful between the pipes, not only stopping shots, but making sure that the puck stuck to him and not giving the opposition second chances. DBU would get one past the net minder before the period ended and the Miners went into the first break with a three goal advantage.
Carlo Witter was a huge story in this game and he would complete a hat trick in the second period. He got one goal on either side of DBU’s second tally of the game. Fabian Perez and Matt Sanca also found the back of the net before the period was over and the Miners were noticeably pulling away by the end of the second period.
This game was less physical than some of the Miner’s recent games, but there was plenty of speed and skill involved. The Miner’s defensemen really showed off their ability over and over on their own blue line with a mix of poke checks, and stick lifts, hardly ever letting a very quick DBU team break into the attacking zone. Miners went into the second intermission with a 6-2 lead.
Wittor ended the night with eight points from six goals and two apples, he scored an entirely separate hat trick in the third period. The prettiest goal of the night came from Wittor when he received a pass from Austin Simpson and took the DBU net minder for a ride before switching to his back hand and sliding the puck into a half empty net. The building audibly appreciated the effort and that seemed to be the perfect cap to an evening that was all Miners. DBU scores their third and final goal in the third period but the score line speaks for itself.
Back for game two, UTEP nded the last home stand of 2018 on a positive note with an 8-2 victory against Dallas Baptist University Saturday afternoon in front of an enthusiastic home crowd.
Kevin Duncan opened the scoring for the Miners five minutes into the first period with an absolute snipe from just in front of the blue line. The next two tallies for the Miners would come on the power play and both off of the stick of Jayden Ritchie who had four goals on the day.
Five of the eight goals that UTEP scored on the day came from special teams, with four power play goals and a short handed goal from Carlo Wittor in the second. Dallas Baptist got one back for the Patriots four minutes before the first intermission and the Miners went into the locker room with a 3-1 advantage.
The second period saw a lot of chances for both sides but no goals until eight minutes in when Wittor scored short-handed. Jason Moore showed off his ability as a two-way forward working hard in the neutral zone to take a puck off the DBU defense and take it back the other way and absolutely shelfing his break away opportunity. DBU would again get the last tally of the period and it would turn out to be their last goal of the game.
Miners came onto the ice in the third period with a 5-2 advantage but they did not let their feet off of the pedal. Jayden Ritchie would complete his hat trick for the first goal of the period and then added a fourth to his count on the last power play of the game.
In between those two goals, Austin Simpson scored his first of the game on the UTEP power play with some of the dirtiest dangles you’ll see anywhere on a rink. The game would end 8-2 as the Miners get a break with the end of the semester looming and will be back in action at home against Texas A&M on January 7th at 11 A.M.
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