Since I have been attending hockey games, there is just something fun and surreal about watching it outside of a large arena surrounded by drunken idiots. College hockey, as well as international play in my opinion is a purer form of the game anyway. Those fans that attend these games, in the smaller venues, without all the flash, pomp and circumstance, have a real valid argument for being true fans.
When it’s just you, sitting on a cold bleacher, freezing for lack of extra body heat from neighbors; when you can smell the ice, hear the skates scraping over the ice, hearing the dead meat smack of a body landing hard to the ice…..that’s hockey. Everyone is smiling, no matter the rivalry. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still intense, the hits are hard and the passion is alive and well…it’s just….different. As a fan, it makes you feel more alive. It’s not about the show, it’s about the hockey.
Ok, enough of the cuteness. We are talking OU Sooner hockey taking on UCO Broncho hockey here!
Earlier in the season, OU swept the Bronchos by scores of 5-1 and 5-2. OU now has an all-time record of 17-3-0 against UCO. Friday and Saturday’s game, as always, brought out the fire in the two teams. Friday nights game led to a few scrums and altercations from both teams. Four Sooners’ players and three Bronchos received game disqualification penalties carrying over into Saturday’s matchup.
Oklahoma beat UCO 6-2 on Friday night, including a hat trick night for Jesse Bryant, his first of the season.
Saturdays game was playing on OU home ice, and didn’t disappoint in the nerves department. An early 3-1 UCO lead had Sooner fans getting antsy. With 2 in the penalty box, OU scored 2 shorthanded goals in under a minutes time to tie the game in the second. Ryan Lee and Jon Schanke scored the shorties.
After a scoreless overtime, the two teams went to a shootout, going through 6 rounds. the Sooners prevailed however, defeating UCO 5-4.
Saturday’s win marked the beginning of christmas break, leaving OU with a 17-8-1 record and ranked 9th in the nation. Happy with the weekends wins, Jesse Bryant stated they were “going to make the christmas break a lot easier” and he was looking forward to some time to rest back home in Alaska.
Sophomore defenseman August Hoffman, was also looking forward to the break. In January, Hoffman will be participating in the World University Games in Turkey. The Illinois native was one of 22 invited to come play in the competition.
Hoffman on leaving the team behind for a couple weeks to participate-” They’re proud of me, I’ve gotten full support from all the coaches. They really like to see me or any player do well; Daryl Dee did it in the past. It shows that we have a good team. It all comes down to the coaching,they’re the ones who prepped me and got me ready for it.”
Junior goaltender Matt Pombo is making great strides for OU in the ACHA this season.
Pombo leads the ACHA in minutes played, at 1225.07, and wins for the season at 14.
The Sooners will be back in action on January 10th against Arizona State.