Josh Bell

Sophomore forward Josh Bell goes for goal against SIUE Sept. 23. 

Over the weekend, the 25th ranked Missouri State Ice Bears traveled to Oklahoma where they faced two separate teams ranked in the Top 25 —  the University of Central Oklahoma and the University of Oklahoma.

Despite two losses, Ice Bears head coach Jeremy Law was happy with how the team performed — especially since they have five injured players at the moment, meaning they have a short bench and less players to put on the ice.

On Thursday, the team suffered a 4-3 loss to the No. 1 ranked University of Central Oklahoma Bronchos.

“We competed really hard,” Law said. “The game could have gone either way. Everyone chipped in, and I was really glad that we played really well against a really good team.”

Whenever the team traveled to the University of Oklahoma, the Ice Bears split their two-game series with the No. 20 ranked team — each of the games ended in shootouts.

In game one of the series against OU, Law said it was a good back-and-forth game.

In the late minutes of the third period, OU attempted a shot, but sophomore forward Josh Bell blocked it, injuring his left hand. 

But it kept the game tied for the Bears.

“It was a hard fought game that we really needed for the rankings,” Bell said. “All of us were ready to do whatever needed to be done to get the win. 

“I got the opportunity to block a shot from the point, it caught me in the left hand pretty good.”

Senior forward Andrew Kovacich said Bell’s block played a huge role in Friday’s 4-3 win over OU.

However, Game 2 proved more tough.

The Ice Bears were up 4-2 in the third period, but OU came back with 19 seconds left. Fourteen seconds later, the Sooners scored the tying goal with only 5 seconds left on the clock.

OU capitalized on the Ice Bears in a shootout, making it a 5-4 loss for the Bears.

“It was an unfortunate loss to be a part of,” Law said. “We had control of the game. We played really well, we just had a mental collapse.

“We learned a lesson from Saturday’s game. I don’t think something like that will happen again.” 

He hopes the team keeps up the good work going into this weekend’s games.

Law said one of their biggest focuses off the ice, currently, is promoting their games. Every night this weekend features some sort of promotion.

Starting on Thursday at 7 p.m., the Ice Bears will take on Colorado State University at Mediacom Ice Park. The first 500 fans in attendance will receive a magnet schedule.

Then on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., they will take on University of Colorado at Mediacom Ice Park. 

Friday is two-for-one general admission tickets, and Saturday is “Greek Night” — the FSL community gets in for free for wearing their organizations letters.

For the regular season, the Ice Bears record now stands at 5-3.

Bailey Vassalli is a senior journalism major, who began working for The Standard in spring of 2016. She has worked as both a photographer and a reporter. She also works as a photographer for Photo Services and KSMU, where she also reports.