A Group photo of the blue team, Dallas Baptist University and the turquoise team, UNM Lobos. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com
The Lobo goalie makes a nice save under fire. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com
What was supposed to be a practice for the University of New Mexico Men’s hockey team turned into an exhibition game matching two of the best division 2 and 3 teams in the country at the Los Alamos County Ice Rink Saturday afternoon.
The Lobos invited the team from Dallas Baptist University, who were already in Albuquerque for a two-game series against New Mexico, to an outdoor scrimmage in Los Alamos. The Patriots agreed and the match was set.
Both teams arrived and were in awe of the beautiful setting. Many of the Dallas Baptist players said they had never played an outdoor game before while taking pictures and posting Snapchats of the venue.
Word of the exhibition spread quickly as hundreds of fans filled the ice rink to standing room only capacity.
The Patriots jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead behind a pair of goals 40 seconds apart in the 13th minute of the first period. The Lobos would finally sneak a goal in with 30 seconds left in the first period to trail 2-1 at the first intermission.
Lobo Graeme Chiasson added an equalizer at the 10-minute mark of the second period, tying the game at 2. Dallas Baptist would answer with a break away goal off a rebound to take a 3-2 lead into the second intermission.
Chiasson tied the game again with a goal in the 18 th minute of the third period, but the Lobo offense would stall after that. The Patriots added three more goals to take the first ever Los Alamos Winter Classic 6-3.
The two teams met again in Albuquerque on Saturday night at the Outpost Ice Arena where the Lobo beat the Patriots 9-3. New Mexico is now 15-2- 1 on the season.
“We have a great group of seniors that have pushed us to a great season,” Head Coach Grant Harvey said about his team’s hot start. “We have a lot of veteran leadership and a lot of choices in goaltender which has us spoiled with talent.”
When asked about the exhibition in Los Alamos, Harvey said, ”We’ve been talking about doing a winter classic environment for years. It took a willing team to meet us in the middle and play us. We just nailed the logistics and this Dallas team was more than thrilled to play an outdoor game because they don’t get this opportunity every day.”
“I want to do this yearly, and I think we can pull it off,“ Harvey added about continuing to host a game in Los Alamos. “Every year we’re able to add more to the program, and I think this will be a part of our repertoire.”
Isaac Dunwoody, a former Topper hockey player now playing for the Lobos, is taking a shot at goal in the first period. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com
Niko Meneakis another Topper player, picks up the puck and heads down ice the Dallas goal. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com
Right wingman, Graeme Chiasson picks up the puck at mid ice. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com
Isaac Dunwoody passes the pick to another player. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com
Number 7, Fernando Huerta Jr waits to pick up the puck after the goalie makes a save. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com
Center, Joxson Farnholtz takes a shot at the goal in the first period. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com
A Lobo player celebrates his goal in the first period. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com
The Lobo goalie get ready to pounce on the loose puck. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com
Number 29 Austin Short and number 9 Joxson Farnholtz try to get the puck past the goalie in the third period. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com
Number 9 Lt and another Lobo player get serious about scoring a goal in the third period. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com