The Aggies hit the road this weekend with a 10-hour drive to El Paso to take on the University of Texas – El Paso Miners. With a shortened bench of 12 skaters and 2 goalies due to injuries and illnesses, the Aggies showed up Friday with a 3-game win streak dating to back to last season against the defending TCHC champion Miners. The game started with the Captain Gary Russell scoring his 11th goal in 4 games on the power play on a seeing-eye shot from the top of the left circle. The Aggies held on to the one-goal lead until the end of the second period when UTEP evened the score on the power play. In the third, the Aggies fought hard but Miner goalie Alek Lazarski stood tall and frustration grew for the Aggies as two costly turnovers helped the Miner to a 3-1 win. Christian Westerberg saw his record drop to 6-2 for the year.
On Saturday, the Aggies leadership showed up again in Gary Russell and Huston Svondrk adding to their hot junior and sophomore seasons, respectively, and the Aggies took a 2-1 lead into the dressing room. The second period saw UTEP tie the game and the Aggies failed to capitalize on the power play for most of the night, going 1-for-10. The third period saw yet another goal from Gary Russell, but the Aggies again make costly mistakes as UTEP would take the lead 4-3. But, with only 10.4 seconds left and an empty net, the Aggies threw all the offense they had against the Miners and it paid off when Mark Oswald shoved home a rebound to force overtime. With 1:43 left in OT, the Miners rifled a shot that got past Brydon Gillilan and the Aggies fell 5-4 in OT. Gillilan’s record now stands at 3-1-1.
A&M will be back on home ice next Sunday as they share a home-and-home series with Texas State. The Aggies are 2-0 against the Bobcats and have outscored them 20-5 in those games.