The Jayhawks emerged victorious for their final home series of 2017 after a successful weekend (12/1-2) against the Washington Bears of St. Louis, bouncing back from previous games with a solid wrap to the semester.
Friday night’s game began in the Washington defensive zone with plenty of pressure applied on the opposing goal. The force picked up significantly after the first five minutes of the first period as the teams gained a feel for the dynamic and ice, with KU’s #29 William Dufresne serving steadily in net for the weekend. After minutes of skating and shot attempts, #25 Dawson Engle finally scored and #23 Brent Bockman earned a point one minute later with 6:50 left, followed by a goal from #20 Cole Nienstedt in the last 17 seconds. However, the Bears managed to net one in the final second of the period, with both contenders significantly more involved in the game. Washington got the first power play of the night and later made the score 3-2, answered by a goal from #16 Breven Bennett in the second period. More desperate play ensued as the teams danced back and forth over the blue lines into the third, with the Bears scoring a point but #16 Bennett gaining another goal for Kansas. Major penalties were sentenced as the intensity grew and time lessened, resulting in Washington sliding one past the home pipes, but KU concluded the night with a 5-4 win.
The Jayhawks started the Saturday afternoon match with a shot into the Bears’ net and notably amplified offense, setting the tone for the game. As speed picked up on the ice, both teams relied on their defensive skills to prevent significant threat to their nets. However, #25 Dawson Engle scored a short-handed goal with less than three minutes left in the opening period, only to follow up with another point in the first 30 seconds of the next one. #28 Johan Steen joined him shortly on the scoreboard, and Washington made a goal to bump the score up 3-1. After plenty of action on the ice and against the boards, #9 Logan Haverstrom gave the Jayhawks their fourth goal, and #18 Conor Ryan scored with less than two seconds left in the second period.
With boosted morale and a solid scoring streak, KU returned to the ice with a goal from #8 Brad Glass, and a rise in physicality. Three players from each team were sent to the penalty box for roughing after a scuffle ensued around the Kansas net, but #25 Engle earned a hat trick to bring the Jayhawks up 7-1. Through dynamic play and solid teamwork, #3 Brandon Burgess, #9 Haverstrom, and #7 Grant Anderson all scored towards the end of the period to secure a Kansas victory of 10-1 over Washington.
Head Coach Andy McConnell
“With injuries and slightly weaker lines, the guys really had to step up,” Head Coach Andy McConnell said. “As for the goalie, Will Dufresne finally got to play and did a great job in net, he’s been practicing consistently and it shows. We’re very pleased with the teamwork and hockey we played this weekend and are excited for the break and making a run for Regionals, maybe even Nationals.”
Forward Miles Manson
“It was nice to win by a lot, we hope to keep it up,” Forward Miles Manson said. “It was good to see some of the other guys rake up a lot of points, Dawson had a great game – we played a lot better.”