Brady Griffin blocks a shot

Brady Griffin blocks a shot attempt. The Ice Bears were able to come away with a weekend sweep.

The No. 14 Ice Bears played their Western Collegiate Hockey League opponent Colorado twice this last weekend, winning the first and losing the second.

The first game, played on Friday, Oct. 4, was a 4-3 victory for the Ice Bears.

Colorado scored just three minutes into the first period when Colorado forward Kirby Aldan broke through the Ice Bears’ defense and beat senior goaltender Brendan Shuck.

Missouri State struck back quickly — senior forward Josh Bell scored on a 2-on-1 five minutes later.

Junior forward Nikita Salnikov scored early in the second period, and the Ice Bears did not allow Colorado to take the lead after that.

Missouri State won the game, but the outcome was a little closer than head coach Jeremy Law said he liked.

“I like that we won, but I don’t think it was a great win,” Law said. “The energy was good, but we had some bad mistakes — bad penalties — I give my team a C tonight.”

Salnikov, who is the Ice Bears leading scorer, was injured in the game, and did not return for the rest of the weekend.

The game on Saturday was a penalty-filled, chippy affair that ended in a 5-2 Colorado victory.

The Ice Bears outplayed the Buffaloes in the first period — outshooting Colorado 12-3, but they were unable to beat Colorado netminder Grant Payne. 

The second period is where things began to unravel for the Ice Bears. Colorado scored two goals late in the period, one of which was on the power play.

Colorado took a 5-0 lead in the third period; two goals came on a five-minute major power play, which does not stop if the team with the advantage scores.

The Ice Bears scored two late goals but were unable to erase the deficit.

The game saw more than 50 penalty minutes handed out. Each team had every type of penalty length given to them, and three players were disqualified for their roles in a few brief fights that took place in the third period. Senior forward Travis Barrett was the only Ice Bear disqualified.

Law said he was disappointed in how the team played, especially with the penalties the Ice Bears took.

“We had a great first period — just couldn’t capitalize on our chances,” Law said. “They got a couple of quick ones in the second, and it seems like we went into panic mode and didn’t play our game. Then things completely fell apart in the third. Hopefully we can learn from this.”

The Ice Bears play next on Thursday, Oct. 17, against Central Oklahoma, and then they play Oklahoma the following two nights.

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