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The Battalion

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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A&M hockey drops Game 1 of 2022 season finale to East Texas Baptist

Hockey
Photo by Robert O’Brien
Hockey

On a December night that truly embodied the Texas winter, Aggie fans left the warm, muggy night air and piled into the cold Spirit Ice Arena to watch No. 24 A&M face off against the No. 18 East Texas Baptist Tigers.
The Aggies fell 3-1 to the Tigers on Friday, Dec. 2, in a match where A&M could not cash in on its scoring chances.
East Texas Baptist came into this matchup 11-5, looking to snap its three-game losing streak after going winless in the 2022 Louisville Tournament against Lake Superior State, Louisville and Kentucky before the matchup against the Aggies.
A&M entered today’s matchup 9-4 on the season, 1-2 in the Aggies’ last three games with a win and loss against Maryville University, followed by a blowout loss to No. 1 Lindenwood 12-0.
The first period saw minimal action, as neither team scored a goal or established any true offensive momentum.
However, the Tigers went on the offensive in the second period, forcing senior goalie Jake Sirkis to string together three saves in the period before finally allowing the first goal of the game at the 15:14 mark. ETBU would follow that up with another goal at the 10:02 mark.
“We kind of got off to a slow start,” junior forward Robby Sours said. “Really, I would say our main problem is we kept taking penalties, spending a lot of time killing penalties, then trying to get back into a five on five. It’s kind of difficult to do those transitions and keep offensive pressure.”
The Aggies had their best looks of the game around the 14 minute mark in the third period, as a power play gave A&M multiple solid looks at the net, but the Aggies could not capitalize on any of their scoring opportunities.
Tempers also flared in the third as, after a few rough body checks by Tiger defenders, freshman forward Nate Polinsky brought an ETBU defender to the ice before being separated by the referees.
A&M would not go down quietly, however, as Sours would score a backdoor goal with 8:31 to play to bring the Aggies within one.
A five-minute penalty on freshman forward Nicholas Leone seemingly put A&M down one man for the majority of the rest of the match, but a Tiger penalty evened the teams at four players a piece. However, despite ramping up the offensive intensity, the Aggies could once again not capitalize on scoring opportunities.
To add salt on the wound, after A&M committed six to the attack with one minute left, ETBU would score one final goal with 14 seconds left to give the Tigers the decisive 3-1 victory.
“We know we can beat them,” Sours said. “We played them in Shreveport, [La.,] earlier this year, we split the series with them. It’s really just taking less penalties and coming in here and working just a little bit harder. Give it 5% more every time you’re on the ice and that way we can put more pressure on them.”
The Aggies look to even the series against the Tigers on Saturday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m., in Spirit Ice Arena.

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