Bobcat hockey righted the ship against the Walla Walla University Wolfpack, scoring 17 goals to the Wolfpack’s four in games on Saturday and Sunday. Walla Walla didn’t start scoring until Sunday, as goalie Will Thompson and the Cats shut out the Wolfpack 10-0 in Saturday’s game. The Cats jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first three minutes and never looked back. AJ Higman scored a goal and two assists, and Austin Miller added a goal and assisted another.
Center John Gleason, who is also an assistant coach, scored a hat trick with three goals and an assist in the romp. Gleason mentioned that last week the team was trying new things and may not have been comfortable.
“We had some new lines and defensive pairs playing together for the first time,” he said. “We lost a few players this semester so we are trying to make adjustments, and I think the guys are picking up on things very well.” Their drubbing of Walla Walla is certainly an indication of new guys starting to gel and the blowout allowed new players to get more time on the ice.
Thompson provided quite a follow-up performance to his work in the net on Saturday. He scored two goals on Sunday to go along with his shutout. The Cats actually trailed on Sunday, as the Wolfpack scored first, but MSU answered with five goals before the end of the first period. Mike Allport scored two goals, and Higman netted a goal and two assists.
MSU won the game 7-4, but the most important thing was MSU’s penalty total. A week removed from the overtime loss to Butte that Thompson attributed to “dumb penalties,” the Cats managed to spend much less time in the penalty box and seemed to find a flow on the ice, making crisp passes and assisting on all but two of the goals.
“We focused more on our passing and getting into areas to support each other and everything seemed to work out,” Gleason said. “We are out to get a little redemption against Butte this weekend, so we will see how things pan out.” That shot at redemption against rival Butte will go down at the Haynes Pavillion on Friday Feb. 8 at 10:30 p.m.