SCHL Drops the puck on 2017
High flying Saturday leads to hard fought SundaySCHL January 17th, 2017 at 6:04PM January 18th, 2017 12:09AM
The SCHL dropped the puck on the 2017 season at Lone Star Event Center in Denton, TX. For many long time inline players the event was a reunion of sorts, because Lone Star occupies the same building as Face Off Inline Hockey and Hat Trick Sports Complex. The larger rink made for wide open games and tired players. The action started at 6pm Saturday and wrapped up just before noon on Sunday as the event was bookended by Texas Tech vs. Arkansas.
The first game saw plenty of goals and even more saves. Ryan Heidrick led all scorers with 5 goals and 2 assists as Arkansas slipped by Texas Tech 10-8 to start the season. Tech’s Preston Ware netted 3 goals and an assist while both goalies saw plenty of action. Arkansas’ James Harrison saw the puck 31 times and Taylor Mingen of Tech saw it 32 times.
Next Texas Tech faced off with Louisiana Tech. Texas Tech screamed ahead early in the first scoring 4 goals in the first 5 minutes. Louisiana Tech found an answer on goals by Travis Kilcommons & Josh Lodatto (PP) to pull within two goals. However TX Tech wasn’t finished as Sterling Mulacek and Nathan brooks finished the period with a goal a piece to lead Texas Tech to a 6-2 lead at the end of the first. The second period saw each team score three goals and each team lit the lamp only once in the third. Texas Tech rode their early goals to a 10-6 victory of LA Tech.
The scoreboard for the next game looked all too familiar to LA Teach as they fell to Arkansas 10-6. Arkansas held a 3-0 lead after the first but had to hold on after the second period as the Bull Dogs stormed back. La Tech popped four goals in the second to Arkansas’ two and after two periods saw their lead slip to 5-4. Arkansas didn’t wait long to score in the third. Goals by Hunter Stafford, Ryan Heidrick and Spencer Stuckerman were all scored less than 5 minutes into the period and Arkansas never looked back. Late goals by Josh Lodatto weren’t enough to secure a win or tie as he led all LA Tech scorers with 3G, 2A. Arkansas’ Spencer Stuckeman led all scorers with 6 goals and 2 assists.
The final game on Saturday saw Texas Tech avenge their earlier loss defeating Arkansas 7-4. After two periods the teams were tied 4-4. Texas Tech took advantage of a tired Razorback squad by posting 3 unanswered goals in the third period. Brandon Bastian (4G,1A) and Preston Ware (2G,1A) would lead the Red Raiders, scoring 6 of their 7 goals. Tech goalie Taylor Mingen stopped all 7 shots he faced in the third to preserve the win.
Sunday morning was buzzing as teams shook of the rust from the off season. Each game was decided by one goal and everyone looked to be in mid season form. Louisiana Tech slipped by Texas Tech 6-5 led by Josh Lodatto’s 5 goal effort. Early in the second period TX Tech’s Preston Ware tied the game at 3 by scoring a short handed goal. LA Tech would regain the lead on Travis Kilcommons tally midway through the period off of a feed from Blake Johnson. Each team would score twice in the third period. Bulldogs goalie Taylor Myalar stopped 21 of 26 and Red Raider goalie Taylor Mingen stopped 23 of 29 shots faced.
La Tech didn’t have much time to celebrate as they faced Arkansas in the next game. At the end of two periods La Tech led 5-3. Arkansas’ John Duranczyk scored his fourth goal of the game 41 seconds into the third to pull his team withing one. The goal was answered quickly by LA Tech as Josh Lodatto and Kyle Rachal scored 1 minute and 1 second apart to put the Bulldogs up 7-4 with 10 minutes to go in the game. At 5:10 of the third Arkansas Hunter Stafford took two minor penalties two put his team on the penalty kill for 4 minutes. It appeared LA Tech was primed to win. That’s when John Duranczyk threw the Razorbacks on his shoulders. Duranczyk scored the final for goals of the game including a shorthanded goal and a powerplay goal. Arkansas outshot La Tech 23-8 in the final period despite the extended penalty kill.
The final game of the weekend was one of the best as Arkansas slipped by Texas Tech in the first overtime game of the season. Each team traded goals in the first period off goals from Ryan Heidrick (ARK) and Brandon Bastian (TTU.) The second period ended with Tech taking a one goal lead when Lucas Jensen scored on the powerplay with a little over a minute left in the third. Trailing 3-2 it was Ryan Heidrick who carried his team scoring 2 goals in the third, his second and third of the game, to push Arkansas in front 4-3. Not to be outdone Tech’s Brandon Bastian scored his third of the game with 27 seconds remaining in the game to force overtime. Arkansas’ Hutton Kalik would find the top corner of the next early in OT to thwart the Red Raider comeback and lead his team to a 4-1 record for the weekend.