Skatin’ Rebels hit the road to face Utah Utes in Salt Lake City

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Rebel Brendan Manning skates behind the net to loop around in an attempt to shoot on the goal during the second game against Utah on Oct. 9, 2021. Photo by Kayla Faasse

UNLV hockey (7-3) leaves City National Arena to play at Salt Lake City Sports Complex as they take on the Utah Utes (5-7) on an Olympic sized ice rink. 

The Rebels last faced the Utes at the beginning of October, where they swept Utah with two victories over the weekend. 

“You know any team can win any night,” head coach Anthony Greener said. “I wanna play with the moxy and swagger of our team being really good and confident and I think that’s what we’re gonna do.”

UNLV enters this series with a 0-2 record on the road, after getting swept at Central Oklahoma on Oct. 15 and 16. 

“I’m a little nervous but I’m a little more confident in the team,” senior team captain Jared Erickson said. “I think we’re able to overcome what we kind of faced in Oklahoma.” 

“We just need to make sure to start hot cause it’s a little bit of a road trip- it’s gonna be a seven or eight hour bus ride. Luckily, we do have ice on Thursday at 7:30 so we’re able to get our feet wet before kind of jumping on the ice before puck drop.”

The Rebels continue to have a strong offense during their games with 36 total goals made this season, averaging 3.6 goals per game.  

Utah has played in more games, having averaged 3.3 goals per game out of their 12 for the year with 40 total goals.

So far for the season, the Rebels’ defense has allowed 26 goals for an average of 2.6 goals per game, compared to the Utes’ 44 allowed goals with an average of 3.6 goals per game. 

“It feels good since we already have an idea of what we’re going up against,” defenseman Sean Plonski said. “For me personally, I just like to think about each play individually in my head, go over it mentally, kind of what I want to do in certain situations so that when it does happen in the game we’re ready.”

The Skatin’ Rebels are coming off a much needed bye week after sweeping Missouri State over Halloween weekend. The two-game victory was a huge one for the Rebels after the Bears swept the Central Oklahoma Bronchos, the only team so far to truly beat UNLV. 

Alec Johnson and Max Johnson enter the series tied for the top scorer for the Rebels, leading the team with six goals and eight assists each for a combined total of 28 points. 

Ute forward Wyatt Light enters as the top scorer for Utah, with five goals and nine assists for a total of 14 points for the team.

The puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Nov. 12  and Oct. 13. A livestream of the games can be found on the YouTube channel. Follow the team on Twitter (@UNLVRebelHockey) for live updates along with a link to the stream.

“I think it’s our first bus trip so you know it’s a great time to get to know the guys you haven’t had a chance to really get to know,” forward Brendan Manning said. “Traveling is a great way to build a relationship with the guys on your team. We’re looking forward to that and we’re also looking forward to coming out with two wins.”

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