The Hawkeyes hosted the Buffaloes at Blue Cross Arena Thursday night for their seventh game of the UCBLL season. It was a dominant win for the Hawkeyes, on home turf, winning 12-5.
Much of that dominance was due in part to a new netminder between the pipes, Tehonatake Nicholas, who managed to bring some leadership and communication to the defensive unit of the Hawkeyes.
The Hawkeyes were led in points by Buffalo Bandits draft pick Nick Miller, who had a seven-point outing (5+2). Miller was followed by Colt Green (2+2) and Nick Cartmill (2+2), a breakout game for the pair.
The first quarter was like most in the UCBLL so far this season, physical from the start while both defenses stood tough and both goaltenders made save after save.
Miller broke open the scoring for the Hawkeyes within the first minute of play though. Grabbing a rebound from a hard shot at the top of the offensive zone, cutting through two defenders and slotting it home in the bottom left corner to get things started.
The Buffaloes answered back with a goal from Weylon Abrams for his first of a hat trick on the night but Cartmill and Green combined to give the Hawkeyes the lead. Buffalo snagged one back to tie it up heading into the second quarter, but the momentum clearly remained with the Armory.
That momentum soared with the Hawkeyes through the second quarter as they proceeded to rip off a 5-0 run for the first 10 minutes of the quarter. That’s where Miller found four of his seven points on the night. They showed once again that when the offense is firing on all cylinders, they are the best in the league.
Things turned even more physical when Patrick Mitchell and Abrams got tied up and ended up throwing punches at one another. The Buffaloes tried to get back in it with under three minutes left but their two goals weren’t enough as the Hawkeyes led at half 8-4.
The third quarter was like most for the Hawkeyes this season, an offensive slump. They only scored one goal but proved more formidable on defense led by Nicholas in net. The quarter ended 9-5 and the Hawkeyes had to do what they often need to heading into the fourth.
They proved to do more than that, coming out with a physical prowess led by Miller and Cartmill. Abrams was thrown out of the game with just over seven minutes to go. The Hawkeyes finished the quarter with three goals and a shutout.
The Hawkeyes next game will pit them against the Buffaloes once again at Blue Cross Arena, Monday July 18.