From The Standard Online
By Bake Biswell
After a weekend sweep at the hand of Central Oklahoma, the Missouri State Ice Bears now trail the Bronchos by eight points in the Western Collegiate Hockey League standings. As a result, MSU is now mathematically eliminated from the championship with just two league games remaining in the Ice Bears schedule.
Here is how things shaped up after a hard-fought weekend:
In the week leading up to Friday’s game, Coach Jeremy Law wanted his team to focus on staying out of the penalty box and remaining disciplined against UCO.
Law spoke briefly on the Ice Bears game one performance. “We came up with a game plan and didn’t execute it,” Law said. “We just fell apart… we were mentally soft.”
The game plan for Friday started to unravel as the Bronchos took a 3-0 lead in the second period. The Ice Bears answered with a goal by forward Jack Brachbill, and UCO quickly replied taking a 4-1lead into the third period.
“They’re fast, they’re physical and they’re healthy,” Law said about the Bronchos. The Ice Bears were battling injuries throughout the weekend and were missing some “key guys” in both games.
Brochos took the win in game one with a final score of 5-2. Newly acquired forward Clayton Dawe also scored in the Friday defeat.
The Ice Bears shook off the Friday loss and headed into night two ready to play.
MSU started strong with a quick goal from forward Jacob Wiethaupt. UCO equalized, and things remained square going into the first intermission.
The game continued to be tightly contested as both teams added a goal in the second period. Forward Matt McGowan tied the game 2-2 after two.
UCO scored with 7:36 remaining in the third and took their 3-2 lead to the end.
“We cleaned up… played a much better game,” Law said. “Obviously we lost 3-2, but it was one of those losses that we could lift our heads because we actually played well and showed a lot of character.”
Law said the execution was much better in game two.
“Tonight we responded. We played with character and heart and followed our game plan to a T. We fell a little short, but it was a good game. A good effort from us.”
MSU will look to bounce back as they face off against No. 13 Maryville Friday, Feb. 4 in the Jordan Valley Ice Park.
(Originally published at http://www.the-standard.org/sports/ice-bears-swept-by-uco-lose-chance-to-win-wchl/article_49b3bef8-82bc-11ec-ae0e-b358278cb541.html)