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The University of Wyoming club hockey team built momentum for the American Collegiate Hockey Association (AHCA) Division III Pacific Regional Tournament, winning two games against the Colorado School of Mines over the weekend.
Led by freshman forward Erik Blomberg (Parker, Colo.), the Cowboys outscored the Orediggers 22-5 to improve their record to 11-7 heading into this weekend's regional competition at Oakland, Calif.
Blomberg spurred UW's offensive onslaught with seven goals and two assists, including a career-best four-goal performance in Friday's 12-4 victory at Golden, Colo. He now leads the Cowboys with 17 goals and ranks second on the team with 26 points, two less than Graham Barrett.
Barrett, a senior forward from Colorado Springs, Colo., turned in a nice weekend of his own. He had a goal and two assists in the teams' first meeting, then recorded a goal and three assists in UW's 10-1 triumph Saturday at the Taco John's Events Center in Cheyenne.
Senior forward Jesse Gefroh (Douglas) added four goals and two assists in the weekend sweep, and sophomore forward Michael Leriger (Houston, Texas) contributed two goals and four assists.
Junior Robert Kola (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and freshman Danny Kirkovich (Longmont, Colo.) earned victories in goal for the Cowboys.
But the news wasn't all good for UW. Tad Bernet, a senior forward from Katy, Texas, who ranks third on the team with 11 goals, will miss "several" weeks after separating his shoulder in the first game of the weekend, says UW Coach Shawn Rockey.
"We will miss his leadership on the ice," Rockey says.
The Cowboys open the 10-team regional tournament Friday against the club squad from the U.S. Air Force Academy (15-6). Faceoff is scheduled for 8:45 p.m. MST at the Oakland Ice Center.
The teams have split four games this season, but UW has scored 16 goals to the Falcons' 12.
The University of Northern Colorado (24-0) and San Diego State University (21-0), the only undefeated teams in the tourney, are favored to earn the Pacific Regional's two automatic berths to the ACHA Division III National Tournament, March 12-15 in Rochester, Minn.