UNLV Hockey ended 2022 on a high note, outscoring its opponents 33-2 during the Vegas Showcase to conclude the first half of the season.
The Rebels hosted three homes games before the break, boosting their record to 11-2.
San Diego State, Dec. 8
The Rebels dominated the Aztecs in every aspect during Thursday night’s game, skating away with a 16-0 triumph.
“[Our guys] played a full 60-minute game,” head coach Anthony Vigineri-Greener said. “They weren’t selfish, and they did all the little things. So no matter who we play, good things will happen if you put that effort out there.”
The victory marks the largest winning gap for UNLV this season, along with goaltender Zach Wickson’s first ACHA career shutout.
The Aztecs were held to only nine shots on goal, while the Rebels remained in control of the puck for 78 shots.
Max Johnson, Daniel Fisher, and Jaedin Ness scored their first goal of the season during a high offensive game.
“Everyone did their jobs, and we got the job done. It’s a good feeling….” Ness said. “Joey [Carollo] came in, I yelled for the puck, and he picked his head up and sent the puck over to me. It was nice to get the monkey off my back.”
Defenseman Max Beller scored his first goal in the Scarlet & Gray with less than six minutes left in the first period.
“Honestly, I kind of blacked out because of how nervous I was out there, but it was a perfect pass right on my tape, and I took a couple of steps and shot it at the top right,” Beller said. “It’s an unexplainable feeling stepping back on the ice, and it was an enjoyable night with the guys.”
Robert McCollum and Dylan Ford tallied up three assists each, while Michael Boutoussov had a goal in the second period and two assists.
Forwards Bradley Golant, Brendan Manning, and Paxton Malone each had a goal and an assist.
Second-year Brenden Fehlig earned the first star of the night, scoring a hat trick with two goals in the first period and his final goal coming in the third period. He had an assist for four total points on the night.
“It’s a good feeling… I got to shout out to my teammates: Ness and Fish went hard all game and created a lot of space for me out there, and Cole [Wyatt] and Joey [Carollo] had two nice passes to me,” Fehlig said. “They made it easy for me, and it’s nice to do it at home.”
Alec Johnson earned the second star with a hat trick.
Cole Wyatt was named the third star of the night, tallying up a goal and five assists (six points).
Canisius College, Dec. 9
The Skatin’ Rebels demolished the Golden Griffins during Friday night’s game with a 13-1 victory.
In net for the Scarlet & Gray, Vince Benedetto saved 20-of-21 shots faced (95.23% save percentage). UNLV saw 69 shots on goal.
Forward Gunnar Smith scored his first goal as a Rebel, while Luke Burke earned his first goal of the season.
After starting the game in the box for a minor unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, Burke’s goal put UNLV on the scoreboard in the first six minutes.
To kick off the second period, UNLV scored two goals 30 seconds apart. The first goal came from Riley Jensen, assisted by Azzaro Tinling and Nick Flanders.
Mattias Dal Monte was quick to make a pass to Paxton Malone, who sunk the puck in the back of the net. A minute later came Smith’s goal.
The Griffins saw their singular goal early in the third period off a power-play goal scored by Kyle Neudorf and assisted by Tibor Setteducati.
The Rebels retaliated with four more goals to end the night.
Fehlig scored his fifth-weekend goal, while Boutoussov and Manning each saw a goal. Dal Monte concluded the scoring with a non-assisted goal on a breakaway.
The night’s first star was awarded to Flanders, as he tallied one goal and five assists. The second star went to Tinling with his one goal and three assists. Finally, Benedetto was named the third star after his impressive performance in the net.
“[Two huge back-to-back wins] is a good way to get into Christmas break,” defenseman Jaxsen Wyatt said. “We had a lot more offense and [Canisius] struggled a bit with all our intensity, but they’re a good team still. We just worked them.”
Oregon, Dec. 10
The Skatin’ Rebels continued the momentum of a solid weekend to end 2022, defeating the Ducks 4-1 in a Saturday night matchup.
“I think we had more ups than downs for this three-game stretch,” Malone said. “So our main focus is to play a full 60 minutes, and for the most part, we did that this weekend.”
UNLV outshot Oregon 47-27, playing a more back-and-forth game on the ice than the previous nights.
Landon Pavlisin started in net for the Rebels, making 26 saves for a 96.3% save percentage.
Keeping his scoring streak, Fehlig scored late in the first period, assisted by Cole Wyatt and Berry.
The Ducks tied the game 16:01 into the second period as Nick Slayton snuck the puck past the net.
Malone gave the Rebels a 2-1 lead early in the third period, scoring with assists from McCollum and Dal Monte. Shortly after the goal, Nick Mitchell went to the penalty box for Oregon with two minutes for tripping.
While on the power play, Golant scored, assisted by Cole Wyatt and McCollum, for a 3-1 lead.
The tension grew on the ice, with both teams taking more penalties.
The last goal of the night came from Alec Johnson at 11:29 in the period, assisted by Dal Monte and Cole Wyatt.
The night’s first star went to Pavlisin, the second star went to Cole Wyatt with his three assists, and McCollum earned the third star with his two assists.
“Anytime you can end with a couple of wins, it always helps makes break that much better,” Greener said. “So now, I told the boys to go home, spend time with their family, recharge the batteries and be ready to go.”
The Rebels will return to action in 2023 to finish out the season. Follow UNLV Hockey across all platforms to stay up to date with the team.