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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Aggies sweep Longhorns in Week 2 of play

Hockey+vs.+Texas
Photo by Robert O’Brien
Hockey vs. Texas

The first game of the weekend served as the home opener for the Aggies who played in front of a sold-out crowd. Texas A&M and the University of Texas put on an aggressive showing for the crowd, highlighted by a broken glass screen.

The first period started off slow for both the Aggies and the Longhorns, as neither team could capitalize on scoring opportunities. Senior goalie Jake Sirkis blocked multiple attempts from UT to keep the match scoreless and with 1:46 left in the first, a goal attempt by A&M was declared no good. So, as both teams returned to their respective locker rooms, the pressure was on to get the first goal of the game, and tensions were rising.

Those tensions and pressure culminated in the second period as the Aggies and Longhorns returned to the ice with a renewed aggression and desire to steal the momentum of the game. That opportunity arrived at the maroon and white’s doorstep as a pass from freshman forward Nicholas Leone allowed senior defenseman Matt McBride to slap it into the goal and place the Aggies on the board first.

“It was wonderful,” McBride said to tamuicehockey.com. “Plus the fans are amazing — it’s great that they made it against t.u., the environment is wonderful, and it gets everyone excited.”

The goal also served to electrify A&M’s morale and on, the flip side, further aggravate Texas. As the tempo increased, so did the number of body checks and fights instigated. The Aggies managed another goal from junior forward Robby Sours, but it was ultimately waved off by the referees. As the time wore down in the second period, Sirkis and the defensemen held the orange and white back through aggressive saves, letting A&M return to its locker room leading 1-0.

As the last 15 minutes began ticking down in the third period, the play between teams became so aggressive that — loaded with body checks into the glass on both sides — the glass barrier surrounding the arena behind the Texas goal cracked, causing an impromptu stop to the game.

When play returned, the maroon and white took advantage of an opportunity as Texas sacrificed their goalie in order to put pressure on A&M’s net. Junior forward Christian Spearman scratched another goal to add to the Aggies’ lead.

The previously rumbling 12th Man went silent when sophomore defenseman Jack Alexander went down with injury following contact with a UT player. Alexander was carried off the ice and when play resumed, the Aggies came out with a chip on their shoulder. Multiple players from both sides of the ice spent time in the penalty box, the aggression reaching its climax.

A&M held onto its 3-0 lead until 11 seconds were left in the game, and UT managed to slip a puck in the net to end the game 3-1.

“In the past couple of years, we’ve beaten them by a lot of goals,” captain senior forward George Colts-Tegg said. “It was a little closer than we were expecting, but it was still a win.”

With a win under their belt from Game 1, the Aggies traveled to Austin to face the Longhorns in the second game of the weekend at Chaparral Ice Arena. Despite no longer having the help of the Aggie crowd, A&M rode steadily to a 5-2 victory on the road.

Period one finished with the Aggies holding a 1-0 lead, but by the end of the second period, the orange and white had taken a 2-1 edge. However, A&M dominated the last period of play, adding four more goals to their score — one from freshman forward Jacob Smith, one from freshman forward Ethan Chen and two from Leone.

The win leaves the Aggies at a 4-0 record and undefeated so far this season following their win against Oklahoma State the previous weekend.

A&M will return to the ice on Oct. 14-15 to face the Baylor Bears at home in Spirit Ice Arena.

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