The 2016-2017 season for the WCHL conference of the ACHA started off this weekend in a big way. Oklahoma hosted Alabama (SECHC) in their season opener and Missouri State, Colorado, Colorado State, and Arkansas swapped inter-conference games.
Thursday, Sept. 15th:
Alabama at Oklahoma: 4-0 Oklahoma win.
Olivier Roy netted the first goal of the Sooners season. Mike Behm made it 2-0 for the Sooners mid-first period. What was thought to be leading to a blowout only concluded with two more goals, from Evan Del Casale and Tanner Ulland. Goaltender Hunter Fernandez earned the shutout on his 24th birthday, stopping 26 Alabama pucks.
Colorado at Missouri State: 9-2 Colorado win.
Colorado did what we thought they would do. The Buffs are already earmarked to take the WCHL championship this season. New hockey internet sensation Alex Turin scored the first goal for MSU in the rout, Brennan Anderson netting the Icebears their second in the Third.
Colorado State at Arkansas: 3-0 Colorado State win.
Justin Schneeberger (1st P) and William Neff (2nd P) found the net for the Rams in the win, along with Danny Matrosic getting an empty net goal in the last minute of the third period.
Friday, Sept. 16th:
Alabama at Oklahoma: 9-2 Alabama win.
In the shocker of the weekend, Alabama dismantled OU the night after being shut out. Olivier Roy and Tanner Ulland were the only Sooners to find the net in the match.
Colorado State at Missouri State: 8-1 Missouri State win.
The Icebears’ Andrew Kovacich ended the night with a hat-trick; Brennan Anderson and Bobby Brown both had two goals each, Brendan Huber with one. Justin Schneeberger netted CSU’s lone goal.
Colorado at Arkansas: 3-1 Colorado win.
Luke Cater, Trace Jablin, and Mick Bruce all scored for CU in the win; Chris Stovall scored Arkansas’s lone goal.
Saturday, Sept. 17th:
Colorado State at Missouri State: 3-2 Colorado State win.
This was THE game of the weekend to watch and if you missed it, well, I am sorry. Even after the 8-1 defeat the previous night, anyone familiar with WCHL teams knew neither of these two teams would just sit back on the ice.
Cody von Rueden drew first blood for CSU at the beginning of the first. MSU’s Zane O’Bryan tied it half-way through the second, Brennan Anderson under a minute later, putting the Icebears up 2-1. Eric Killam then tied it up for the Rams. With two minutes left go to in the third, CSU’s William Barber finally got one past Brady Griffin that would be the game winner. Freshman Griffin looked great on the ice for MSU, stopping 41 pucks in the game.
The game ended with players scrumming in CSU’s end and even CSU goaltender Dax Deadrick was in the mix. With 0.06 seconds left in the game, the clock was allowed to run out to get the teams off the ice. The handshake line did take place and ended well enough, until some words spoken almost started it up yet again. Sounds like a rivalry is underway between the two teams.
Colorado at Arkansas: 5-2 Colorado win.
Luc Gradisar and Matt Robinson paired up for both of Arkansas’s goals in the third period, each with a goal, and assists on each other’s goals. Colorado is now 3-0 and cruising right along.
We won’t see any inter-conference play again until Sept. 29th, when travel partners Missouri State and Arkansas come to Oklahoma for sets against the Sooners and Central Oklahoma.
In the meantime, the Sooners host ACHA 2015-2016 Champions Lindenwood Lions on Sept. 23th & 24th. Central Oklahoma hosts Western Michigan the same nights, it’ll be their season opener.
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