The Skatin’ Rebels took its first losses of 2024 to the Minot State Beavers over the first weekend of January to make its record 15-5-1. The Beavers took game one with a 5-4 victory in a shootout, and game two with a 5-0 shutout win.
Minot State took the first game of the series with a 5-4 shootout win.
The Rebels opened up the first game of the year with a touching tribute to Benny, the ice skating dog, who was involved heavily with intermission games and played a significant role in the UNLV hockey community.
Jayson DiMizio made his UNLV return after graduating with the class of 2023. Last season, DiMizio had a total of 13 points, with nine goals and 14 assists.
The rookie line put the Rebels on the board early, with Tristan Rand scoring on the first shot of the game, assisted by Mason Kelly and Justin Stathopolous.
Michael Boutoussov extended the lead with his first goal of the season, assisted by Robert McCollum and Grant Smith, to make the score 2-0 8:52 into the first period.
Minot State’s Ben Johnson drew the first penalty at 12:14 for tripping, putting the Rebels at another advantage.
The Beavers killed off Johnson’s penalty, and shortly after, Joey Moffatt cut the deficit with a goal at 14:28, assisted by Eric Krywy and Christian Kadolph.
The Rebels closed out the first period ahead in the shot total 9-8 and on top 2-1 on the scoreboard.
Minot State started the second period with a power play goal scored by Sheldon Howard to tie the game at 2-2.
Captain of the Skatin’ Rebels, Alec Johnson, responded to the Beavers’ two unanswered goals with one of his own, assisted by McCollum and Caleb Strong, to make the score 3-2 with 16:28 remaining in the second period.
The Beavers bounced back with an unassisted goal from Jay Buchholz to even the score at 3-3 at the backend of the second period.
Shortly after, Kandolph took a high stick to the mouth from Jake Berry. Jaxsen Wyatt was given a game misconduct, and Berry served a five-minute major penalty for the Rebels.
Minot State took the momentum from the goal and power play into the third period and took its first lead of the game with a goal by Troy Hamilton, with assists from Moffat and Buchholz to make the score 4-3 with 9:41 remaining in regulation.
With an empty net and a power play, Mattias Dal Monte found the back of the net to tie the game, with assists from both Jaxsen and Cole Wyatt, with less than two minutes remaining in the period.
The show went on into overtime and a shootout, where Kadolph and Moffat took the win for Minot State.
“You never want to lose one in your own building,” UNLV Assistant Coach Colin Robin said. “There’s a lot of motivation for the guys to come out tomorrow and beat the number one team in the nation.”
Minot State took its momentum from the victory in game one and dominated UNLV in a 5-0 shutout victory to sweep the series.
After a stretch of little offense on both sides of the ice, Reece Henry drew the first Beaver goal of the game with 5:47 remaining in the first period, assisted by Trenton Curtis and Carter Barley.
Curtis extended the Beavers’ lead just over two minutes later to take a 2-0 lead over the Rebels with assists from Barley and Reece Henry.
The Beavers hot start put them on top 2-0 heading into the intermission.
By the end of the second period, the Beavers added to their 2-0 lead with a goal from Troy Hamilton at 6:51, assisted by Walker Jerome and Colby Joseph.
Matthew Yakubowski joined the Beavers scoring party with a goal at 16:43, assisted by Buchholz to make the score 4-0.
Early in the third period, Johnson made the game out of reach, scoring his first ACHA goal to put the Beavers on top 5-0.
Riley Wallace continued to stop the remaining shots from the Rebels to earn his second shutout of the year and contribute to the 5-0 Beaver victory over the Skatin’ Rebels.
“We’re going to get better,” UNLV Assistant Nick Robone said. “I think that everyone understands we have to be at a higher level.”
The Skatin’ Rebels take on the Arizona State Sun Devils on Jan. 19 and 20, with both games starting at 7:30 p.m. Student tickets are free at the door with a display of a UNLV ID.