Photo courtesy Kat W. Martin | UTEP Hockey
AUSTIN – Down 4-2 in the 3rd, the Miners came back strong Thursday night and defeated Texas A&M 5-4 to advance to the Semi-Finals of the TCHC Playoffs.
Miner Forward Jorge Duenas put the Miners on the board first, giving UTEP a 1-0 lead. Texas A&M Huston Svondrk answered and tied the game at 1. Then the Aggies’ Gary Russell, scores and the teams head into the first intermission with A&M taking a 2-1.
Back for the 2nd period, the Aggies increased their lead when Andrew Monhollen gets one past UTEPs’ Lazarski. Matt Sanca responds and cuts the Aggie lead down by one goal, making the score 3-2 at the buzzer.
Heading into the final frame, the Aggies waste no time and score once again, putting the Miners down by 2 goals. Following two back-to-back penalties on the Aggies, the Miners go on a 5-on-3 power play. Taking full advantage of the power play, Josh Baeza finds the back of the net and brings the Miners within one goal of the Aggies.
Still on the same power play, Miner Forward Matt Sanca scores unassisted and ties the game at 4. The Miners then take advantage of another Texas A&M penalty and Matt Sanca scores, completing the hat trick, to give the Miners their second lead of the game.
With two minutes remaining, the Aggies pulled their goalie. Shortly after, UTEP’s Kevin Duncan gets called for crosschecking with 1 minute and 26 seconds to go in the game.
Despite the 6-on-4 Aggie advantage, the Miners hold on to their lead and defeat the Texas A&M Aggies, 5-4 in Round 1 of the TCHC Playoffs.
With the win, the Miners advance to the Semi-final round where they will face off against top seed North Texas at 2:45pm MST