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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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A&M Ice Hockey struggling to stay above water after consecutive losses to ETBU

Senior+Goalie+Jake+Sirkis+%2824%29+blocks+a+goal+attempt+made+by+Texas+University+Freshman+Owen+Just+%2897%29+during+Texas+A%26amp%3BMs+game+against+Texas+University+on+Friday%2C+Oct.+20%2C+2023+at+Spirit+Ice+Arena.
Photo by Jaime Rowe

Senior Goalie Jake Sirkis (24) blocks a goal attempt made by Texas University Freshman Owen Just (97) during Texas A&M’s game against Texas University on Friday, Oct. 20, 2023 at Spirit Ice Arena.

Game 1
Texas A&M ice hockey lost on Friday, Nov. 3, to the East Texas Baptist Tigers at Spirit Ice Arena by a score of 4-2. The defeat gives the Aggies a 3-8 record this season, and this is the team’s fourth loss in a row.
The action in this matchup began with sophomore forward Jacob Smith knocking a goal in during a power play in the 18th minute of the game, giving the Aggies a 1-0 lead late in the first period. Junior forward Marshall Rushing and graduate defenseman Jacob Norwood assisted on the play.
Smith, who was named the team’s Rookie of the Year in his first season with the group, is now up to 3 points this season.
The Tigers would tie the score shortly after, and the first period ended with a 1-1 tie.
In the second period, the Tigers eventually took a 2-1 lead, but Smith once again drove one to the back of the net, securing his second score of the night and tying the game.
Like his first goal, this was during a power play, and it was also Rushing with an assist.
Graduate forward Ethan McDonald was credited with an assist on this goal as well. McDonald, the Aggies’ team MVP in the 2021-22 season, now has four assists this season.
The deadlocked score wouldn’t last long, as the Tigers took the lead over the Aggies once again with another goal to give them a 3-2 advantage. A&M continued to battle back, but the score remained the same at the end of the period.
The Maroon and White were unable to tie the score like they had in the previous period, as ETBU continued its solid defensive play.
In a similar fashion to their first game against Texas, the Aggies were relentless in their attempt to tie the game, but the Tigers kept them at bay. And much like that game, the Tigers scored once more during the period, extending their lead to 4-2 and putting this one out of reach for the Aggies.
A&M has now lost four straight games after starting 3-4, with their last win coming against Metro State University-Denver on Oct. 13.
If there is a silver lining in this string of defeats that the Maroon and White have suffered it’s that during this losing streak, the Aggies have not lost any of these games by more than two goals.
Game 2
On a Saturday afternoon, that just saw Texas A&M football lose a close game off of a missed kick, the Aggie faithful still found a way to fill up Spirit Ice Arena to support their hockey squad in its second game of a series against East Texas Baptist University.
Despite this, the Aggies fell to ETBU 6-3 on Saturday, Nov. 4 in College Station.
The match started with a quick score off of a backhand shot from sophomore forward Blake Lind from the Tigers. A failed offensive possession from the Aggies turned into a fast break for the Tigers, pushing their lead 2-0 with only one defender for A&M being able to get back on defense.
The Maroon and White started to turn things around about halfway through the first with a backhand shot from junior forward Christian Spearman.
A stoppage of play occurred quickly after the Aggies scored, and once the ref put the puck back in, A&M added onto its first goal as freshman forward Colson Zak scored quickly off of an assist from senior forward Matthew Perri to tie things up, 2-2.
The Aggies took their first lead off of a fast break score from Perri. However, the Tigers tied things up to close out an electric first period with a score that came all the way out from the blue line.
The second period started with quick back-and-forths that led to multiple defensive stops. Things started to heat up for ETBU as the Aggies’ offense started to stagger.
With less than 11 minutes left in the second period, the Tigers took the lead at 4-3.
A&M struggled to find a surge of energy until about halfway through the third period when the Maroon and White’s offense started to pick up and pressure the Tigers into having all their players focused on protecting the goal.
Whenever the Tigers had the puck, the Aggie defense stayed firm and aggressive enough to get the puck back so they could push it up the ice.
With about 6 minutes left, senior forward Gavin Mccallister went on a fast break, but three Tigers defenders were there to corner him into the wall.
Enough contact was made for the refs to call a stoppage of play once Mccallister fell to the ground, but a scuffle between him and two Tigers led to the refs throwing Mccallister out of the game.
The Aggies started to scramble and try to score before the final whistle blew. ETBU was able to contest shots by graduate defenseman Jacob Norwood and hold firm on its side of the rink.
Another member of the Maroon and White was thrown out with 3 minutes left, as sophomore forward Mason Burdett was ejected from the match when he slammed on the penalty box as the referee was escorting him into it.
The final blow to the Aggies was when the Tigers managed to score in a chaotic sequence while A&M attempted to get back on defense, pushing ETBU’s lead to 6-3 and sealing A&M’s fate.
The Aggies look ahead as they take on North Carolina State in a series that starts on Friday, Nov. 10.

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