The UNC men’s ice hockey team started their preseason this past weekend with back-to-back games on Sept. 8 and 9 against the Colorado Junior Eagles.
On the first night, the Bears had the welcome of a packed house full of fans who were ready for the season to begin, but had to watch UNC lose 4-1 to the Junior Eagles.
The first period was quiet with no goals scored from either team, while Northern Colorado’s junior forward Brad Pershing received multiple penalties for roughing and slashing.
The game got rougher in the second period when Eagles defense Johnny Tower checked Bears freshman forward Levi Weber through the Zamboni doors.
The second also brought the beginning of goals for the Junior Eagles, who led 2-0 at the end of the second with goals being scored by forwards David Mitchell and Joe Roach.
With the nearing of the end of the second period and tensions between the teams growing by the minute, Bears junior defense Chase Upson and Eagles Austin Tautfest engaged in an altercation. Because there were less than four minutes in the period, both players were sent off the ice.
The third period turned out two more goals for the Eagles, by defense Blake Kauth and forward Sean McMahon
The Bears junior forward Truman Gonzales net one goal, and the Eagles got the 4-1 win.
Night two’s game was in Fort Collins at the NoCo Ice Arena against the Colorado Junior Eagles again. But this with a happier outcome for the Bears, who skated off the ice with a 5-3 win.
The Eagles struck first in the game with a goal by defense Darrian White in the first period, and then a second goal right before the end of the first by defense Trent Hines.
The Bears went into the second down 2-0, but soon netted a power play goal by sophomore forward Brandt Heble, and soon after a goal by freshman forward Paul Norris tied the game 2-2.
But it was only a few moments before the Eagles answered back with a backhanded goal by forward Carter Dahl to end the second period with the Eagles up 3-2.
The Bears came back into the third fired up and finished the game by scoring three more goals by Weber and Gonzales to beat the Junior Eagles 5-3.
The Bears next game is on Sept. 15, 2017 in Cheyenne, Wyo. They turn around the next night when they host the Cheyenne Stampede 4 p.m. on Sept. 16 at the Greeley Ice Haus.