By Isaac Rosenthal
Oregon’s club hockey team fell just short of a Pac-8 title Sunday afternoon, falling to Utah 4-2.
Oregon took the lead after a scoreless first period when Tyler Halverson connected on a centering pass to give the Ducks a 1-0 lead on a powerplay goal.
It was a shortlived lead though, with Utah equalizing minutes later. The Utes threw the puck at the net and were relentless in getting shot after shot off before finally putting one past Danny Cockriel.
Utah would strike next, taking a 2-1 lead early in the third period but once again the teams proved to be evenly matched. Just two minutes after Utah took a 2-1 lead, Patrick Thornton fired the puck on goal and forced a mistake from Utah’s goaltender. The blunder tied the game with just under half of the third period remaining.
The Utes scored the eventual game winner with 2:50 left in the game, again on a slightly awkward goal. Utah threw the puck at goal from an almost impossible angle and it rolled behind Cockriel’s left leg bad.
Oregon had chances to tie it in the last minutes, but couldn’t get the job done. Head coach Rich Salahor opted for the extra attacker in the final minute and Utah was able to hit the empty net for the insurance marker.
The Ducks finished second place in the Pac-8.
The Ducks regular season quietly came to a close Saturday night as the Ducks routed the Portland State Vikings in a commanding 9-1 win Saturday night.
Kyle Adamson had the win in net again for Oregon, facing 16 shots. The Ducks saw scoring from Connor McBride, Kyle Lederer (2), Pat Thornton (3), AJ Bernhardt, Dillon Abate and Sam Jossie.
Oregon improved to 20-8 on the season, and travels to Anaheim, CA next weekend for the Pac-8 Conference Playoffs.
Friday, Feb. 1—Oregon 9, PSU 2
Oregon took game one of the two-game series vs. Portland State. The Vikings took an early 1-0 lead after Oregon gave away a breakaway six minutes into the period. Down by a goal, Dan Sulitzer passed the puck up to Sam Jossie down the right side, who found the back of the net to tie the game at 1-1.
In the second period, it was all Ducks as Oregon saw two goals from Pat Thornton, along with goals by Garrett Roberts, and Dan and Alex Sulitzer.
Portland State started off the third with a power play goal, but Alex Sulitzer had a goal and Connor McBride added a pair of his own to pad the Ducks lead.
Goalie Kyle Adamson earned the win for the Ducks with 15 saves.
Thurs. Jan 24, 6:45pm vs. #7 San Jose State (FINAL:San Jose 3, Oregon 2)
In the first game of the weekend, the Ducks took an early two-goal lead over a talented San Jose squad. Oregon took a 2-1 lead into the second period, but the Spartans tied the game up at 2-2 after a second period power play goal. The two teams took a nail-biting tie down to the final two minutes of the game, but Oregon couldn’t hold off the Spartans offense.
Fri. Jan 25, 1pm vs. #15 UNLV (FINAL: Oregon 7, UNLV 1)
Game two was all Ducks as Oregon opened up the first period with a 3-1 lead off goals by Pat Taylor, Pat Sgarlata and Connor McBride. After a scoreless second, Oregon opened things up in the third with four goals in the third, three from Pat Thornton.
Photos by Keelyn Hanlon
Sat. Jan 26, 5pm vs. #10 San Diego State (FINAL: SDSU 6, Oregon 3)
In their third game on the weekend Oregon squared off against the Aztecs and went down 4-0 midway through the second period. The Ducks stormed back late in the second though, scoring three times, to bring the score to 4-3 headed into the third period. After an even battle, San Diego eventually broke the game open, adding an empty net goal with less than a minute remaining to take a 6-3 final.
Sun. Jan 27, 9:45am vs. #12 Texas A&M (FINAL: Texas A&M 3, Oregon 2)
The Aggies gained an early 1-0 lead after penalty trouble in the first period. The Ducks tallied two goals of their own in the second, and took a 2-1 lead into the third. The two teams looked to be headed into overtime after Texas A&M tied the game at 3-3 midway through the third. But with just over a minute remaining the puck a scramble deep in the Ducks zone led to a hearbreaking Aggies goal giving them the lead, and the 3-2 victory.
It was a bitter end to a tough home stand. Playing in their seventh game in nine days, fatigue seemed to set in as Oregon fell to Cal 7-5, for the first time in five years at Lane County Ice on Saturday. Garrett Roberts had two goals for the Ducks in the loss.
Wed, Jan 16: Oregon 7, Boise State 6
The Ducks took game one on Wednesday, besting Boise State in a 7-6 nail biting victory. Pat Thornton had the game winning goal and Oregon was able to hold off a late third period attack that saw Boise chisel away at a three-goal lead.
Thurs, Jan 17: Oregon 9, Boise State 1
Fri, Jan 18: Oregon 9, Cal 4
Oregon travels to San Jose next weekend for a showcase in which they will face off against four western region powerhouses: San Jose State, UNLV, San Diego State and Texas A&M.