Pat Thornton puts home goal one in the first period of the Ducks 3-2 loss to Utah Friday night in Salt Lake City, UT
Saturday, Jan 12: Oregon 3, Utah 2 (shootout)
With under a minute to play and trailing by a goal, the Ducks looked like they were on their way to a fifth-straight loss in two years to a tough Utah Utes hockey team. But a seemingly benign pass to the front of the net bounced off a Utah defender and in, tying the game 2-2.
The two teams played to a 2-2 tie through overtime and the first five-shooter round of the shootout with Connor McBride being the lone goal scorer for Oregon to keep them alive, and goalie Danny Cockriel holding the Utes to just one goal. Finally, the seventh shooter Matt Hanlon was able to squeeze the puck past goaltender Pete Gibb, giving the Ducks a 3-2 win over No. 6 ranked Utah.
It was the Ducks first win over a top-ten opponent since knocking off Eastern Washington in 2011.
McBride had another goal in regulation of his own in a hard-fought win that was marked by 29 penalties, the majority of which went to Utah.
Cockriel was sensational in net, with 34 saves against a Utah offense that averages nearly seven goals a game.
Sunday, Jan 13: Weber State 7, Oregon 5
It was a quick turn around that saw the Ducks travel up to Ogden to play a talented No.5 ranked Weber State team Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. The Ducks made their case in an attempt to string together back-to-back wins over top-10 ranked opponents, but penalties late in the third helped pave the way to the Wildcats chippy 7-5 comeback win over Oregon.
The Ducks started off strong, with a powerplay goal that the Wildcats answered with a goal of their own. Pat Sgarlata added a Ducks goal late in the first to give Oregon a 2-1 lead through the first period.
Nick Kuehl found the back of the net early to give Oregon a 3-1 lead, but back-to-back Weber State goals tied the game at 3-3 heading into the third. Oregon looked poised to take its second straight win over a ranked opponent, after goals by captain Pat Thornton and defenseman Matt Hanlon gave the Ducks a 5-3 lead.
But penalties late in the third opened the door to a handful of opportunities. The Wildcats capitalized, scoring three unanswered goals, the game winner with less than three minutes to play, capped by an empty net goal with seconds remaining.
Cockriel was outstanding again, stopping 45 of the 51 shots he faced. Weber State had two players ejected in the game, the first for boarding and the second for kneeing.
Friday Jan 11: Utah 3, Oregon 2
In game one on the weekend, the Ducks took an early lead, but couldn’t hold off a powerful University of Utah offense in a 3-2 loss to the Utes in Salt Lake City, Utah on Friday night.
Oregon’s first period goal came off a shot by senior Pat Thornton. Utah’s Ben Seastrand scored in the second period on a power play goal to tie the game before the Utes took the lead early in the third period.
Six minutes later junior Nick Kuehl answered with a goal of his own to bring the Ducks within one but the Utes were able to hold off Oregon’s attack late in the game.