PREVIEW: Skatin’ Rebels kick off season at Arizona State
September 14, 2017
By Megan Edmunds
The Skatin’ Rebels kick off the 2017-2018 season this weekend with a pair of games on the road against Arizona State University on Friday and Saturday. These games are UNLV’s first at the D1 level and will take place at 8 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively. ASU had a 20-9-2 record last season. UNLV is coming off of its most successful season in program history, making it to nationals for the first time. With multiple new additions to the roster, the skill level on the ice has seen a substantial increase.
“Out of the three years that I have been here, this is by far the best we’ve looked coming out of training camp. Our condition camp being ran by an NHL assistant coach (Kenny McCudden of the Columbus Blue Jackets) and now we’ve had two solid weeks of high-tempo practices, so I like where we are at,” said Anthony Vignieri Greener, UNLV head coach. ”Still tons of things to work on, but we are in a good spot.”
While the current state of the Skatin’ Rebels is better than ever before, so is the state of their competitors. UNLV has jumped up a notch, now skating along D1 competition as opposed to the D2 that it has been used to in recent years. And it will not be an easy feat.
Vignieri Greener noted that one of the main things he noticed when watching film of their new competitors was the increased speed of the game.
“That is the case at each level, the speed also brings more talent to each team,” he said. ”Now instead of worrying about 3 or 4 top players, teams at this level have 6 to 10 top tier kids.”
After the first two games of the season this Friday and Saturday, the Skatin’ Rebels head back home to prepare for another big weekend – the home opener against Colorado on Friday, Sept. 22 at 7:30 p.m., followed by the second game of the weekend series on Saturday, Sept. 23 at 1:30 p.m. The Vegas Golden Knights Ice Crew will be in hand for the games. These games mark the beginning of a new era for UNLV Hockey, as the team takes the ice for the first games at City National Arena, its new home. Full season and single-game tickets are available at rebelhockey.com.