Oregon hockey blows past Washington 7-2, sweeps I-5 Cup home games
By Anne Yilmaz
For the second night in a row, Oregon club hockey faced off against the Washington Huskies for game 2 of its annual I-5 Cup series. In what usually are close games — last year’s cup was determined by a shootout after splitting the four-game series — the Ducks sailed through the Huskies’ defense, winning the two games 9-3 and 7-2.
“UW is a lot weaker this year, so these games are a lot different,” said forward Connor McBride, who’s playing his fifth I-5 Cup series with the Ducks.
Oregon set the pace in the first period with a goal two minutes into the game by forward Nick Sciabarra, the first of three for the sophomore. Patrick Sgarlata had the assist. Other than the four penalties that punctuated the period, the game remained relatively back-and-forth with both goalies seeing action, but Oregon maintaining control for the majority of play.
The second period started off slower, with neither team getting any true scoring opportunities as shots continuously went wide. However, as Jake Yale hopped into the Oregon box for boarding only 2:53 into the period, the Ducks nearly took advantage of the Huskies’ lack of ability to control the power play. After the puck came loose out of the Washington zone after the initial faceoff, Trevor Shott picked it up and took it to the front of Washington’s net on a breakaway. Although Shott was unable to score on Jacob Gilmore, the Ducks found themselves on the advantage again after Washington’s <span style=”color: #000000; text-indent: 13px;”>Tyler Jennings</span> received a roughing call 25-seconds after Yale’s penalty cleared.
With less than half a period remaining and about 28 minutes since the first goal, Dillon Abate put the puck in the back of the net for Oregon. Then the lead was extended to three as Shott once again met Gilmore in front of the net, but this time coming away with an unassisted goal.
“I tried to get the puck on my stick, get control of it,” Shott said of the goal. “Going toward the net I was trying to get my teammate there, but he didn’t get through and somehow [the puck] went in.”
Washington eventually responded to Oregon’s three unanswered goals. As McBride served time for cross-checking, Huskies’ captain Ryan Minkoff finally put a point on the board for his team. The goal was quickly neutralized as Sciabarra flicked in the puck after a quick pass from teammate Joe Hoover.
Like the second period, the 3rd boasted the majority of the action in the second-half. Minkoff put home another for his team, leaving the score 4-2, but little over a minute later McBride — with the help of Alex Sulitzer — put the scoring gap back to three. A minute ten-seconds later, Sciabarra struck again and completed his hat-trick. After Chris Campbell’s shot bounced off of the pads of Gilmore, Sciabarra snagged the rebound.
The final goal of the night, however, went to Shott.
Despite his hat-trick and solid performance the night before, Sciabarra attributed the team’s success to his linemates and chemistry.
“We played well as a team, we clicked together as lines and our D-pairs started playing the puck together well between them,” he said. “These were two really inspirational wins.”
The I-5 Cup will be finished in Seattle on January 17 and 18.
Follow Anne Yilmaz on Twitter @anneyilmaz
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