The Central University Bronchos hosted ACHA DI and WCHL newcomer Missouri State on Friday and Saturday night. Friday night fans were treated to the Bronchos National Championship banner being hung from the rafters and members of the 2014-2015 Championship team being present for accolades.
FRIDAY: UCO 6-3
The first period was nearly at the halfway mark before UCO struck first blood for the season. Chad Roorda finally got one past MO St.’s Justin Davis at 11:59. The first period would remain 1-0 UCO. During the first intermission, UCO revealed their Championship banner to the packed crowd on hand. The second period would contain the most action, UCO’s Michael Rivera getting the party started with two shorthanded goals. Rivera showing the crowd just why he was awarded the Championship Tournament’s MVP last season. Josh Wyatt scored again for UCO putting the Bronchos up 4-0 over the Icebears. The Icebears did get on the board with two unanswered goals, Brenden Huber and Marshall Gevers finally finding room behind UCO’s Alex Henry. The third period was all UCO, Rylan Duley and Don Danroth scoring early on. With a couple minutes remaining in the game, a little scuffle broke out but the referees were quick to intercede, keeping an all out brawl from happening, unlike last years matchup. Shots at the end of the night were UCO-55, MSU-25.
SATURDAY: UCO 2-1
Missouri State’s netminder Mitch Fernsler was the main nemesis for the Bronchos on Saturday night. The game remained scoreless until the first 3 minutes of the third period. UCO’s Danroth broke the seal, but the game was tied up by the Icebears Logan Lopicka minutes later by catching Henry out of position while trying to clear the puck. Sam Rice scored late in third putting UCO up 2-1 and got the Bronchos the win. The Bronchos again outshot the Bears, 49-24
UCO travels to Missouri to take on Lindenwood, 9/25 & 9/26. It’ll be the first ACHA matchup for the Lions this season. The Bronchos will be back on home ice Oct. 2nd and 3rd, hosting Iowa State.
AROUND THE WCHL:
Another newcomer this year to the ACHA DI and WCHL, Arkansas, played this weekend against the University of Oklahoma. Although OU defeated the Razorbacks on Friday night, 4-3, on Saturday Arkansas proved why they are a team to keep your eye on. Keeping their penalties in check on Saturday, Arkansas kept OU out of the net and defeated the Sooners 3-2. It was the first time the Razorbacks have defeated OU in 11 tries; their first ACHA DI win and their first WCHL win.
No other WCHL teams played this weekend. Arizona starts ACHA play this weekend; Colorado and Colorado State begin their ACHA season in October.