For the first time in nine years, the OU and UCO bedlam rivalry did not go the Sooners way. The Bronchos would finish the season 3-1 over the Sooners. It’s not entirely surprising considering that UCO had the #1 standing in the ACHA for a short time, and continued to hold #2 for the remainder of the season. OU had fluctuated between 6 and 8 respectively.
Friday the 13th at UCO: The Bronchos defeated OU 2-0. Even though the first period remained scoreless, UCO’s Michael Rivera would finally get past Colin Fernandes towards the end of the second, scoring on a powerplay chance. The Sooners pulled Fernandes for the extra attacker in the remaining minute of play but couldn’t come through, UCO’s Brandon Harley taking the game with an empty net goal.
Saturday 2/14 at OU: The fans were feeling a case of Deja-vu on Saturday, just on different ice. While OU hung in there for most of the game, #2 UCO would put the final nail in the coffin during an overtime shootout, 2-1. It was a 0-0 game well into the second period, before UCO put one in. Towards the end of the period, the Sooners would gain a two-man PP advantage and Senate Patton tied it up. The third period would remain scoreless and lead to an eventual overtime period. The game finally ended in a shootout, UCO’s Sam Rice winning it for the Bronchos.
During the intermission on Saturday, fans, family and teammates, were able to honor their seniors, on the ice. Joe Adams, Darrell Boldon, Matt Mckinney, Brandon Dennis, Bryce Johnson and Colin Fernandes are all in their final year of playing for the Sooners.
Oklahoma hosted Lindenwood-Belleville (25-0-2) for the final two home games of the season. LUB is in their first playing season and dominated much of the ACHA DII. The Lynx also have one of the top special teams in the ACHA, their power play percentage 25 and penalty killing percentage of 93.46. They are not eligible however for the National Tournament due to being a first year team, so expectations were high of a good matchup between the two teams.
Friday: The Sooners got themselves in early trouble with the Lynx. OU got behind 2-0 in the first period and the crowd was getting a bit antsy. At the halfway mark of the second period, Tyler Jones finally got the Sooners on the board, followed a couple minutes later with the tying goal by Kale Erickson. In less that a minute after that tying goal, LUB’s Duane Wainman put the Lynx ahead yet again, followed by Brad Edwards with his second goal of the night. Being down 4-2 at the end of the second seemed to light a fire in the Sooners. The third period was all OU. Darrell Boldon and Derek Tylka would each bury one to tie the score yet again. With 3 minutes remaining in the third, Brandon Dennis would score the game winner. Bryce Johnson got a break away chance in the final 30 seconds and nailed the empty net for the 6-4 win.
Saturday: This time the Sooners were first on the board. Bryce Johnson made it 1-0, 8 minutes in to first period. Mason Miller and Grant Williams also put one in to make it a 3-0 lead for the Sooners by the end of the period. LUB scored the lone goal of the second period, and again in the third but not enough to take the win. The Sooners won it 3-2 and sweep in their final home stand.
The Sooners now prepare to head to Cleveland, Ohio for the ACHA Nationals tournament. Oklahoma will play Iowa State on March 7th, at noon. All games will be broadcast on Fasthockey.com for a fee. You can follow along however on the OU Hockey twitter at @OUHockey.
You can check out the bracket HERE.