The Sooners had a strong weekend showing, winning their four games in four days at home, now 27-12-1. The Sooners will now travel to the University of Illinois (17-9-1) for two games this weekend, the last road trip before the ACHA playoff run. The Illini swept OU in the two games last year. This series is very important to the Illini, who are fighting for a spot to head to Nationals.
Starting on Thursday, Oklahoma took on Eastern Washington (D2) taking a 5-3 win. Then on Friday night, No. 10 Oakland (20-8-5), came to town, with OU taking a strong 6-1 win. Forwards Jesse Bryant and Chad Hudson each scored two goals, and Forward Justin King and defenseman Zach Harris, his first as a Sooner, rounded out the scoring. Goaltender Matt Pombo stopped 23 Oakland shots to earn the win.
After such a runway win on Friday, Saturday’s match-up against Oakland started to look like more of the same with OU taking a 2-0 lead once again in the first period. Starting the second period however, Oakland was tired of being the Sooners whipping boy, came out strong, and scored 3 unanswered goals. Going back and forth into the third and with plenty of hard hitting action, even a game misconduct on Forward Shane Vorndran, Oakland made it a game, taking it into overtime. The Sooners did prevail, taking the 5-4 OT win.
Defenseman Troy Puente scored the winning OT goal. Forwards Blake Martin, Ryan Lee, Steven Behm and Chris Nicolaou all put one on the board as well for the Sooners. Pombo started in net again, making 25 stops.
After a great hockey game, your truly met with some friends in Bricktown and ran into a couple members of the Oakland Golden Grizzlies. #19 Brandon Johnson and #20 Ross Lane were a complete pleasure to talk shop with, even if they blamed their defeat to the Sooners on “jetlag” and refs. All kidding aside, glad you boys enjoyed your time in OKC, good luck in the tournament!
Sunday the Sooners again hosted Eastern Washington, bringing in the fourth win by way of a 6-4 score. Chris Nicolaou had a two goal night, with Chad Hudson, Craig Martin, Justin King and Steven Behm all getting in the net. Pombo had the day off, with Brad Roth starting in net, making 16 saves.
Defenseman Augie Hoffmann will be rejoining the Sooners this weekend, made a bit easier by the fact he is from about a two hour drive from Champagne to meet up with his team before the Illini faceoff. Augie just returned home to Lake Forest from Turkey, where he has been representing Team USA at the Winter World University Games, where he blogged about his experience .
(I apologize for the sorry quality of the pics this time. Keep trying new setting for this particular barn and it’s wearing me smooth!! )