The Lobo hockey team had a rocky weekend after taking on the UCCS Mountain Lions in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Friday and Saturday night, but remained undefeated.
New Mexico defeated Colorado Colorado Springs on Friday by a score of 6-1 to win its ninth game of the season, but failed to run the win total up to 10 after the teams played to a 6-6 draw on Saturday, putting the Lobos at 9-0-1 on the season.
The Lobos showed up strong to Friday’s game, despite traveling five and a half hours to play and playing with a new goalie between the pipes. But UNM got off to a hot start, jumping out to a 3-1 lead after the first period of play.
Freshman goalkeeper Nathan Russell seemed to play well and continued to keep offensive insurance from his teammates. Jaxson Farnholtz ran the lead up to 4-1 in the second period, and Jarrod Ronquillo and Mackenzie Smith added two more goals in the third to pull away.
New Mexico earned the 6-1 decision, but had its hands full on Saturday, which was a much tougher game with UCCS holding a lead for most of the game.
The first period of Saturday’s game ended with the Mountain Lions holding a 3-2 advantage on the scoreboard.
With the Lobos nipping at their heels, UCCS made a big goal in the second period to extend the lead to 4-2 and wasn’t done putting the puck in the net.
But New Mexico mounted a furious comeback, scoring four goals in the third and final period. The Lobos tied the game at 5-5 about 10 minutes into the frame and did so again with just 36 seconds remaining in the game to make it 6-6 and force overtime.
The Lobos probably had hopes of riding the momentum they picked up after catching the Mountain Lions in the third period and forcing the extra session but couldn’t find the back of the net. Fortunately for them, neither could the Mountain Lions, and the game ended in a tie.
“We had them on the ropes and couldn’t bury it home. We had about seven scoring chances, and they (UCCS) had none,” UNM head coach Harvey said regarding the overtime period.
The Lobos don’t plan to let Saturday’s game hold back the momentum they’ve had from the beginning of the season. Working on having a faster game and catching passes on the stride is what Harvey said they will focus on in practice to make for a better way to play.
Harvey said the power scorers for the Lobos this weekend were left wing Austin Short and center Farnholtz.
Those two combined with Smith to help tie up the game on Saturday and prevent the team from being dealt its first loss.
The team competed without the services of Nate Taglialegami, who was held out with an injury and Graeme Chiasson, who was recovering from the flu.
Harvey hopes to have a stronger game next weekend after getting on the ice this week and working with the team to step up their game.
Alanie Rael is a freelance sports reporter for the Daily Lobo. She primarily covers men's and women's skiing but also contributes content for football and hockey. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @AllyRael.