Skatin’ Rebels lock horns with Rams in series sweep

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Tristan Rand pushes the puck up the ice against the Colorado State Rams. Photo courtesy of UNLV Hockey.

UNLV Hockey took both games on the road against the Colorado State Rams, winning 6-1 in the first game and 5-2 in the second leg on Feb. 9-10. Vinny Benedetto started between the pipes in both games, earning both victories. Mattias Dal Monte led the Rebels in scoring, putting up a pair of goals and assists in the series.

Game 1

The first game of the weekend set saw the Skatin’ Rebels take a dominant 6-1 win over the Rams. 

The Rebels were led in scoring by Robert McCollum, tallying three points via a pair of goals and one assist. 

Bradley Golant and Heath Mensch posted a goal and an assist, while goaltender Benedetto stopped 22-of-23 between the pipes in his first start of the series.

The first period only saw one goal, coming from Mensch with assists from Justin Stathopoulos and Jaxen Wyatt at 9:47 of the first period.

Benedito and the Rams’ goalkeeper Sam Simon were sharp in the opening frame. Benedetto saved all five shots he faced while Simon stopped 10-of-11 to keep the score 1-0 through the first 20 minutes.

The middle frame saw the Rebels extend their lead with a goal from McCollum and off assists from Max Johnson and Golant at 7:50 to give the Rebels a 2-0 lead.

The Rams would find the back of the net for the first and only time in the game off a breakaway goal from Noah Decker at 8:20 of the second period. 

The Rebels added one more goal from Mason Kelly, with Mensch and McCollum getting the apples at 13:30 to make it a 3-1 contest heading into intermission. 

Benedetto saw more action in the middle frame, making 13 saves on 14 shots, continuing his solid start in net.

The final frame was dominated by the Rebels, starting with a Golant goal with an assist from Jake Berry, making the lead 4-1 at 7:34. 

That lead would be further stretched to 5-1 from an unassisted tally from Nick Flanders at the 8:29 mark. 

The game’s final goal came from Rebel forward Mccollum with his second of the night, with Dal Monte and Tristan Rand assisting, making the final score of game one 6-1.

GAME 2

The Rebels took game two with a score of 5-2. Benedetto saved 19 out of the 21 shots he faced, rounding out another solid game in net. Dal Monte led the Rebels in points, picking up two goals and an assist. Rand also found the back of the net twice, and Caleb Strong added two assists.

Both goalies were sharp throughout the majority of the first period. Rand started the scoring, with Strong and Cole Wyatt providing the assists at 14:06. 

The Rams would even the score off Decker, his second of the series, with assists from Justin Rudrow and Tristin Maestas at 17:28 of the opening frame leading into the first intermission with both teams locked at 1-1.

The Rams took the lead almost immediately after the puck drop of a nifty goal by Connor Pietrangelo at 0:11 of the second period. 

Halfway through the second, the Rebels would tie the game 2-2 with 10:35 on the clock off Rand’s second goal, with the apples coming from Dal Monte and Strong. 

The Rebels would find the net for a 3-2 lead minutes later of Flanders’ second goal in as many games as Berry collected the lone assist. 

The lead would grow to two goals as Dal Monte also got his second goal, with Alec Johnson and Golant providing the apples as UNLV struck on the powerplay at 16:49, concluding the scoring in the middle frame.

The action in the final frame was provided via penalties, which included Flanders and Berry being shown an early walk to the showers as they both received game misconduct penalties. 

The Rebels would add a Dal Monte empty netter, leaving the final score 5-2

UP NEXT

The Skatin’ Rebels are back in action next weekend at City National Arena to take on the Oregon Ducks. Games are on Feb. 16-17, with the puck drop for both games set at 7:30 p.m.

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