UNLV Hockey (13-11-1) resumes action and will finish the month of January with a two game series against the Skatin’ Utes (7-11) in Salt Lake City Utah on Friday and Saturday night.
Last Time Out
UNLV defeated Minot State 6-3 on Sunday, January 12th behind a 3-0 opening period lead and capped off with a hat trick by John Moeller. UNLV did suffer a loss to Minot State three nights previously 5-2 but then bounced back with a 7-2 win over Grand Canyon University the next night. Overall, UNLV finished a five game in eight day stretch to open up action after the break with a split with Jamestown at the Orleans Arena, and split with Minot State at City National Arena and a win over GCU mixed in.
Earlier this Season
UNLV and Utah will meet for the third and fourth time this season, previously meeting at City National Arena back on October 10th and 11th. UNLV had strong showings in both games, defeating the Utes resoundingly both nights by scores of 7-3 and 10-2 respectively. Hunter Muzzillo had an outstanding performance against the Utes, registering three goals and two assists over the two game series. Paxton Malone recorded four goals, including a hat trick in the second game of the weekend set in Las Vegas.
Scouting the Utes
The Skatin’ Utes have struggled this season, only amassing a 7-11 record against division one opponents. They are coming off a pair of shutout losses at home at the hands of the Jamestown Jimmies (5-0 on 1/10 and 2-0 on 1/11).
As a team, they feature only seven players on the roster who have recorded double digit points. Leading the team in scoring is Forward Che Landikusic with 26 points (15G, 11A) in 19 games played. Forward Alex King ranks second on the team in goals with eight. Forward Wyatt Light and Defenseman Dylan Dix both rank second in assists with nine.
Between the pipes for Utah, Landon Anderson has seen the majority of action. In 14 games played, his record is 5-8 with a subpar 4.06 Goals Against Average and .888 save percentage. Jake Slaugh has appeared in five games for the Utes (2-2, 4.00 GAA, .875 save percentage).
Keys to Victory:
- Stick to the Systems
- Don’t Overlook Utah: It will be critical that the Rebels do not take these games for granted. With some big games to come in February against ranked teams, it may be easy to overlook these games. Couple that with tough travel to Utah and the Olympic sized ice that occupies the Salt Lake City Sports Complex, it could lead to a trap game. In fact, over the last few seasons, the Rebels have only managed a split with the Utes in each of their trips to Salt Lake.
- Detail Oriented
Games from the Salt Lake City Sports Complex in Utah are scheduled for Friday and Saturday night with 7:30pm (MT) puck drop for both games. The games should be streamed through the Utah Hockey YouTube channel. Look to UNLV Hockey social media pages for links to the live streams on game days as well for updates from the action in Utah during the games.
(Photo Provided By Beth Parrish)