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The University of Wyoming hockey club swept three home games last weekend -- highlighted by an 18-goal outburst against the University of South Dakota, a hockey rarity and another splendid showing from Matt Schulz.
The Cowboys' demolition of the Coyotes was sandwiched between a 6-0 victory Friday over Dordt College of Iowa and a 4-1 triumph Sunday against South Dakota State University. UW scored more goals in the three games (28) than in its first eight games (27).
And, of course, Schulz led the way. A freshman from Casper who has quickly emerged as one of the top playmakers in Division III of the American Collegiate Hockey Association (AHCA), Schulz netted seven more goals and added two assists to spark the Cowboys (4-7). He is tied for seventh in the ACHA with 19 goals.
Senior goaltender Robert Kola (Colorado Springs, Colo.) provided the oddity in UW's weekend finale at the Taco John's Events Center in Cheyenne. With the Cowboys protecting a late 3-1 lead, Kola fired the puck down the center of the ice and into the empty net on the other end.
It is believed to be just the second goal by a goalie in the 20-year history of the ACHA. Only nine National Hockey League (NHL) goalies have ever scored a goal. The last NHL goalie to score a goal by shooting the puck into his opponents' net was Evgeni Nabokov in a 7-4 victory by the San Jose Sharks over the Vancouver Canucks on March 10, 2002.
In UW's weekend opener at the Laramie Ice and Events Center, Schulz scored two goals and Kola stopped 29 shots for his first shutout of the season as the Cowboys avenged a 4-3 loss to the Blades at the Clash in the Corn tournament earlier this month.
Billy Ross (Boulder, Colo.), Luke Walker (Jackson), Levi Wood (Cheyenne) and Cole Younger (Eagle River, Alaska) also contributed goals for UW. Walker, Wood, Jake Bates (Jackson), Seth Farrell (Longmont, Colo.), Dan Lang (Casper), Mitch Nelson (Sheridan) and Kyle Quintal (Cheyenne) had assists.
Fifteen players posted at least one point in the Cowboys' 18-0 rout of South Dakota -- fronted by four goals from Nelson and hat tricks by Schulz and Younger. Wood collected three assists for UW, and Ryan Bourcier (Warren, Mich.) added two goals and an assist.
Farrell, Ross, Quintal, Dustin Galbreath (Greenwich, Conn.), Willy Miller (Arvada, Colo.) and Tyler Yorke (Calgary, Alberta) also scored goals for the Cowboys, who peppered the Coyotes' net with 80 shots. Walker and Yorke contributed two assists apiece.
Schulz capped his remarkable weekend with two more goals against the Jackrabbits. Bourcier scored UW's other goal, and Farrell and Lang contributed assists.
The Cowboys play a pair of games against the U.S. Air Force Academy this weekend, beginning with a 9 p.m. faceoff Friday in Laramie. The teams meet again Saturday in Monument, Colo.