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College hockey: Bears, Pioneers Too Much for Washington Huskies

Not quite the homecoming for seniors Bradyn Kawcak and Alex Black as Washington gets swept on their Rocky Mountain road trip.

Washington gets swept on the road to Colorado, continues on to Oregon for I-5 Cup.
Washington gets swept on the road to Colorado, continues on to Oregon for I-5 Cup.
Pacific-8 Conference

Here is a recap of Washington's weekend action in Colorado:

NORTHERN COLORADO 6, WASHINGTON 2 (THURSDAY)

GREELEY, Colorado - Simon Machalek scored his first collegiate club hockey goal in the Huskies' loss to the #8th-ranked University of Northern Colorado Bears on Thursday night at the Greeley Ice Haus.  The sophomore defenseman scored on an even-strength goal at the 13:05 mark of the second period with freshman forward Tavin Jackson (Point Roberts) and sophomore forward JD White (Kenmore) assisting on Machalek's goal, his first in his 45-game career at Washington.  Jackson would score his 22nd goal of the season at 9:34 of the third period from freshman forward Christian Cinderella (Sammamish) and freshman defenseman Ryan Jaromin (Arlington).

Brad Pershing's goal just 1:13 into the second period was enough to be the game-winner, one of two goals that were scored under two minutes into the period with Mitchell Bailey adding the insurance goal just 37 seconds after Pershing's goal making this lone matchup of the season between the two schools out of reach for the Huskies.

Husky freshman goaltender Jeff Miles (San Diego, California) saved 40 of 46 shots in the loss.  UNC's Grant Payne picked up the win stopping 24 of 26 shots.

It was a huge blow to the UW squad as they lost three players - two via injuries - including junior defenseman Troy Gasser (Sammamish), in which he and UNC junior defenseman Ethan Hicks ended up scrapping with 6:05 remaining in the game.  The on-ice game officials assessed both Gasser and Hicks conincidental major head contact penalties resulting in both receiving automatic game disqualifications.  According to American CHA rules, any player receiving a major penalty throughout the game must sit out the very next game.

On the injury front, Washington lost freshman forward Devin Garg (Lake Oswego, Oregon) and graduate forward Jordan Fitzgibbons (Whitby, Ontario, Canada) during the first period.  Garg was slammed into the boards and was unable to get up for a couple of minutes before he was helped off the ice.  Fitzgibbons skated under his own power after he collided from a UNC player that would have been a kneeing penalty, which was not called by the officials.  Both players did not return for the rest of the night.

DENVER 9, WASHINGTON 1 (FRIDAY)

DENVER - In no doubt what could have been the worst ice conditions to play on all season, the Huskies had a very hard time scoring and maintaining the puck against the 11th-ranked University of Denver Pioneers inside the on-campus Ritchie Center's Joy Burns Arena.  Jackson was the only Husky goal scorer in the entire with Boulder, Colorado-native / senior forward Alex Black earning the assist in one of his homecoming games.  It was Jackson's 23rd goal on the season.

Brad Conover scored a hat trick for Denver while Brian Desmond picked up two more goals for the Pioneers.  Goaltender Beau Lewis stopped 29 of 30 shots for the win.

Miles was getting hammered between the pipes stopping 48 of 57 shots in the loss.  A small lapse in the crease between he and Jaromin caused the Pioneers' Sam Yauch to tap in the puck into an open net early in the third period.

DENVER 6, WASHINGTON 2 (SATURDAY)

DENVER - Two goals from White and Cinderella kept the Huskies close for a while, especially going into the third period.  But Denver would score three unanswered in the game's first 10:42 and another three unanswered after the Cinderella goal in the weekend series sweep for the Pioneers.   Geoff Dohrmann earned the win in goal for the Pioneers stopping 27 of 29 shots for the win.

Miles would once again suffer the defeat by saving 44 of 50 shots.

John Eansor, the brother of current Seattle Thunderbirds forward Scott Eansor, scored his first goal of the season for the Pioneers.

HUSKY HOCKEY NOTES

- Garg flew back to Seattle just hours after suffering an upper-body injury during the first period of Thursday night's game in Greeley, according to Huskies head coach Matt Cleeton.  Garg did say on Tuesday night, however, that it is his shoulder that is bothering him and he will see how he feels upon the weekend of the Oregon series.

- Fitzgibbons suffered an injury around his MCL.  He is hoping to have an MRI done this week, but is scheduled to see a doctor this Thursday.  His return time to the ice is uncertain.

- Black and Bradyn Kawcak (Fort Collins, Colorado) played in front of their family and friends this weekend.  Boulder and Fort Collins, the homes of University of Colorado and Colorado State University, respectively, are located north of Denver with Fort Collins located just west of Greeley where the Huskies played on Thursday night.  Both players will be graduating at the UW this spring.  Black did earn an assist on Jackson's goal in Friday night's loss.

- Jackson, Cinderella, and White earned multiple points in the entire weekend.  Jackson (two goals, assist) and Cinderella (goal, two assists) earned three points; White (goal, assist) picked up two points with his assist coming on Machalek's first career goal.

- Including the weekend series sweep versus Denver, the Huskies went 1-4 this season against clubs from the Mountain West Collegiate Hockey League.   The other three MWCHL schools that Washington faced were Brigham Young University, Boise State University and Montana Tech.  The Huskies were 1-1 against BYU at home, 0-4 on the road with one game considered a neutral home game for Montana Tech, who beat the Huskies, 16-2, back on October 10th inside Boise's CenturyLink Arena.

- Washington finished the non-conference road schedule with a 2-7-0-1 mark.