The Skatin’ Rebels swept the Arizona State Sun Devils in a dominating fashion with high pace action offense and a great game from goaltender Vince Benedetto for a 7-3 victory.
The night started off with a small pre-game ceremony for senior defenseman Liam Gentile, as it was his last game as a Rebel.
"To have Liam [Gentile] go out on top was a huge thing for us,” head coach Anthony Greener said. “He did a lot for this program...when he did come in he helped out and chipped in.”
The Rebels came out in the first period with three goals, the first goal coming from team captain Jared Erickson with an assist from Paxton Malone.
The first period was just starting for the Rebels however with two more unanswered goals. One from Michael Boutoussov who was assisted by Bradley Golant and Nick Flanders. Only to be followed by a goal from Flanders who got assisted by Golant and Boutoussov.
The second period was the Sun Devils’ period.
Scoring all three of their goals the Rebels needed to score at least once in the period to keep the lead, and they did. Flanders got his second consecutive goal in the game and was assisted again by his teammates Golant and Boutoussov.
The second period would be the last time ASU would score against the Rebels this game only to have hope slowly diminish from the complete offensive story the Rebels would go on.
The third period started off strong with UNLV’s only power-play goal this game from Golant who got an assist from Jayson Dimizio.
Hunter Muzzillo followed up and scored the second to last goal with an assist from Dimizio and really put the game out of reach in the third period.
Golant was all over and he got his second goal of the game to rub salt in the wound against UNLV’s bitter rivals, Boutoussov and Flanders assisted their teammate on the last point of the game.
The hot hands of the fourth line, Boutoussov, Golant, and Flanders who combined in this game for 5 of the Rebels 7 points, showed out this game and made their presence felt to the Sun Devils.
Boutoussov ended the series with three goals and three assists, Golant ended with two goals and four assists, then Flanders had himself three goals and three assists respectively. For a total of 8 points out of the 15 points scored in this series.
The trio also took home the three stars of the game for the closer against ASU.
"When you say the fourth line you don’t think they’re gonna chip in as much as they do,” Greener said. “How deep we are with those guys’ chemistry and when they can chip in and have a night like this they’ve been our most consistent line all year long.”
Benedetto, who was alluded to having had an amazing goalie game, had an insane 55 saves to 58 shots. The tandem of Benedetto and Zach Wickson has been possibly the brightest part of UNLV’s season.
"Yeah, we don’t have a backup, we have 1A-1B,” Greener said. “Obviously Wickson speaks for himself with his numbers, but I feel confident putting Vinny [Benedetto] in any night and the brotherhood they have together it's very rare for goalies to like each other as much as they do.”
This marks the end of Rebel hockey for 2021 as the next game UNLV will be on January 14, 2022, where the Rebels face off against the University of Jamestown at City National Arena. Puck drop will be at 7:30 p.m, if you are curious about how to watch follow the UNLV Rebel Hockey Twitter @UNLVRebelHockey for more information.