UTEP Hockey faced off against the East Texas Baptist Tigers Friday night in Mansfield, TX in the second semifinal game of the Texas Collegiate Hockey Conference. Miners top the Tigers 7-1 and advance to the championship game.
Dominik Taras buries one with 13:31 to go in the first period to open the scoring. Not long after, Fabian Perez finds the back of the net and the Miners increase their lead 2-0, with less than 10 minutes to go in the period. Looking to give the Miners a three goal cushion going into the intermission, Dominik Taras scores his second goal of the game. The Tigers get one back but the Miners keep their two goal lead at the buzzer.
Back for the second period, the Tigers — not ready to call it a season just yet — hold the Miners to one goal in the second period. Left alone at the net, Carlo Wittor lunges at the puck making a diving pass that finds the back of the net.
With only 20 minutes standing between the Miners and the championship game, the Miners head to the final stanza ready to put an exclamation point on the game. Wittor already on the scoresheet for the night, adds another goal and increases the Miners lead to 5-1. Beating Bozzuto in the net, Dominik Taras strikes, completing the hat trick and scores. After some back and forth on both sides, Jorge Duenas scores in the last minute of the game, making it a 7-1 final score.
Angus Campbell was manning the net for the Miners, saving 38 of 39 shots on goal. Campbell was a key player in the win adding multiple back-to-back saves to keep the Miners dominate lead throughout the game.
Miners will face off against division rival, Texas A&M Aggies, in the championship game Feb. 9th at 1 pm. This will be the first time the Aggies play in the championship game, but this will be the second trip to the conference playoffs finale for the Miners.