By: Joey Schneider
Jefferson City, MO- Border rival Kansas Jayhawks completed the road sweep of the Missouri Tigers club hockey team courtesy of a 7-6 shootout victory on Saturday.
The effort featured several shifts of momentum from a Kansas hat trick to a Mizzou overtime push via four unanswered goals. But Colin Ryan’s game-winning shootout goal for Kansas proved to be the difference maker in the Jayhawks first series sweep of Mizzou in more than five years.
“We learned that we have to come out of the gate stronger and can’t take any team for granted,” alternate captain Ryan Hodges said. “Our wins come from working hard and playing a full 60 minutes, and that was our downfall for the weekend.”
Colin Ryan also scored the first goal of the contest, one of three tallies the Jayhawks would put on in the first period. Mizzou captain Brendan Wilson netted a power-play goal to keep the team within pace after the opening frame.
A sloppy start carried over into the second period, as Kansas’s Grant Anderson collected a hat trick shortly after the game’s midpoint. But with the help of late period goals from Chase Lutz, Kevin Ward and Ryan Hodges respectively, the Tigers cut the deficit to two goals through 40 minutes.
“We had some really strong shifts and kept it down in their end,” forward Matt Weller, who assisted on Lutz’s goal, said. “Chase got to the front of the net and made a great play to bury it. It was a huge goal that allowed us to shift momentum.”
Hodges chipped in his second goal of the night less than four minutes into third period, while adding an assist on Zach Fanning’s equalizer with less than five minutes remaining.
“We got our energy when we were down by four goals, and once we finally started to dig deep, Kansas couldn’t hang in their with us,” Hodges said. “We showed what we could do when we want to play, but [the comeback] was just too little, too late.”
Mizzou goaltender Billy Hindle replaced Adam Kassly in net after the Tigers experienced a 6-2 deficit in the second period. Hindle saved all but Ryan’s shootout goal, the only shot that found the back of the net between six skaters.
“We work on [shootouts] in practice sometimes, and felt good going into it,” Hodges said. “Billy was unbelievable and could stop everybody tonight, but we made a lot of mental mistakes that [Kansas] capitalized on.”
The Tigers fall to 4-5-1 on the season following Saturday’s loss. Mizzou’s next opponent will be Kentucky, who comes to Jefferson City for a series from October 28-29, 2016.
(Featured Image: Joey Schneider)