D2 Ice Jacks Shutout Undefeated UTEP

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Posted: Friday, November 29, 2019 9:00 am

The NAU D2 Ice Jacks played their last home game this year at Jay Lively Activity Center against The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) last night. The Ice Jacks held off any scoring opportunities given to UTEP to keep them off the board the entire night, taking all the scoring opportunities for themselves and making the final score 7-0. UTEP’s record before this game was 12-0-0 and the D2 Ice Jacks’ record was 7-5-0, and no one could have expected on paper that NAU would be able to easily blow out the undefeated UTEP team.

The Ice Jacks’ shutout win was all thanks to great goal tending and defense. The goalie for the night was Christian Ross, who secured his first career shutout win during this game. “It feels really good right now,” Ross said. “I think we really focused well with having our D shut down the front slot and they kept the puck out of the zone as much as possible.”

After every win, the Ice Jacks give out a construction helmet in the locker room that is called “the bucket” to the MVP of the night. Ross was proudly wearing it after this huge win.

Ross is looking forward to the rest of the season which includes seven away games, one home game and the Big Mountain Showcase in Colorado. “We are on a five game win streak,” Ross said. “I think we started off a little weak in the beginning of the season, but obviously we are coming back and we are trying to show everybody that we are still the leaders of the west. We got a lot of games ahead of us, I think we just need to keep our streak going.”

What was just as memorable as the defense last night, was the offense. The Ice Jacks took full control of this game and gave opportunities to every player to score. Goals for the night included one from Nick Ligocki, one from Ysidro Gravelle, two from Jeremy Mills and a hat trick from Alex Shupe. Unfortunately, no hats were sacrificed to the ice because of the netting that is hung above the boards at Jay Lively.

Shupe will add his hat trick to his four goals he scored this season making his statistics seven goals, seven assists, and 14 points so far. “It was my first hat trick of the season,” Shupe said. “It is great honestly, especially since it was my last home game this year because I’m a senior and I’m graduating. So for sure it is a huge high. It is wonderful. I have to shout it out for sure to my line mates Cole [Tiedemann] and [Lucas] Lomax, I would not have been able to do it without them. Every goal I scored was because of them two.”

Next week the Ice Jacks go on a Utah road trip against Utah State University, Weber State University, Bringham Young University and Northern Colorado.