After what seemed like an extraordinarily long and hot summer, the wait is finally over and UTEP Hockey is back.
The puck drops on the 2018-19 season this Friday, as the Miners will begin the season with a pair of non-conference games against Texas Tech.
Start time for Game 1 on September 21 is at 7pm, with Game 2 slated for Saturday at 3:30pm.
This weekend will be the fourth consecutive season that the Red Raiders meet the Miners at center ice. Friday marks the 10th time both teams have met.
Dating back to the 2015-16 season, overall the Miners and Red Raiders are 7-1 (5-1 at home, 2-0 on the road). Without including the Miners 7-1 win against Texas Tech in the semi-final round of the TCHC Playoffs in 2017.
Last season, UTEP traveled to Odessa winning Game 1, 6-3, before coming back in overtime the next morning to close out the series, 4-3, with a goal scored by Jorge Duenas.
The Miners add ten new players to their roster this season. Including former Rhinos Jake Kopinski, Austin Simpson, Jayden Ritchie, Carlo Wittor and Angus Campbell. Leading scorer, Dominik Taras will not be on the bench for the Miners this weekend but is expected to return later in the season.
Juniors’ Kevin Duncan, Jorge Duenas, Matt Sanca and Jon Sanca return for their third season in a Miner jersey. Last season, Matt Sanca helped lead the team with 42 points (14G, 28A). Forward Noah Vanderzwan returns for his sophomore year with the Miners following an explosive first season with 18 goals last season.
Quick Miner Facts
- Defenseman Chris Roosmalen has returned and will serve as assistant coach this season.
- Coach Herman will begin his 4th season as Miner head coach.
- UTEP finished last season in 3rd place at the TCHC Playoff Tournament.