Photo courtesy UTEP Hockey
As a long month of hockey comes to a close, the Miners set their sights on ending the regular season on a high note as they roll into the playoffs.
With over 800 students and teachers in attendance, the Miners kicked off game one against Texas Tech early Friday morning.
Austin Simpson got the Miners off to a quick start, scoring 1:50 into the first period. Red Raiders were unable to answer and the Miners would go on to score six more goals to end the period, 7-0.
Austin Simpson would complete the hat trick as Matt Sanca, Carlo Wittor, Jake Kopinski and Dominik Taras would add to the Miners tally.
With no signs of slowing down, the Miners add five more goals to their total. Red Raiders get one passed Trevor Buckmeier and the score is 12-1 at the end of the second period.
In the final period of the game, UTEP added four more goals, to the Red Raiders one for a final score of 16-2.
Eight different Miners scored for the Miners including; Simpson with five goals, Wittor with three goals — earning him a hat trick — in the game, Matt Sanca with two goals, Taras with two goals, Donald Alchin, Fabian Calderon, Jake Kopinski and John Luke Prystako all scoring one goal apiece.
Trevor Buckmeier in his first start at home, saw 22 shots making 20 saves.
Back Saturday afternoon, the puck dropped for the final game of the regular season. Donald Alchin would strike first opening the scoring for the Miners. Three more Miners would add to the total with goals scored by Jon Sanca, Matt Sanca and Carlo Wittor to end the period, 5-0.
The second period would go scoreless.
Ready to cap off the final frame of the afternoon, the Miners score three more goals by Fabian Perez, Carlo Wittor and Jorge Duenas. Avoiding the shutout, the Red Raiders get one back making the final score 8-1.
UTEP will now shift focus as they prepare for Playoffs later this weekend in Mansfield, Texas.
The Miners have asked the community for help in raising money for playoffs. To donate go to minershockey.com.
Fans can also help the Miners raise money Wednesday, February 5th at Panda Express from 10 am-10 pm on Mesa near UTEP. Mention UTEP Hockey when ordering and 20% of proceeds go back to the club.