Eagles sweep Bruins, lock in No. 2 seed for PAC-8 tournament


Bailey Monteith

Left to right: Chad Haywood, Mitch Hunt and Hayden Boring celebrate a goal in Saturday’s 10-3 win over UCLA. Lind scored a hat trick in the Eagles final conference game of the year.

By Drew Lawson, Reporter

EWU’s inaugural season in the PAC-8 Conference has featured plenty of highs, most recently with a weekend sweep of UCLA, bringing the Eagles to a 9-2 conference record and 17-4 overall.

“We want to set a pace and tone for regionals and the PAC-8 Tournament,” sophomore forward Greg Lind said after the series. “I think we did that tonight.”

UCLA came into Cheney with a record of 1-10, but it didn’t show Friday night. After EWU took a 5-2 lead off a Lucero goal with just over seven minutes remaining, UCLA rallied with two goals in 42 seconds to make the score 5-4. Hanlon attributed the competitiveness of the game to being rusty.

“We just didn’t have a rhythm last night,” Hanlon said. “We were sharper (Saturday).”

Saturday’s matinee affair was much less in doubt. EWU scored ten goals and received a hat trick from Lind, exiting with a 10-3 victory,

“Gotta thank my linemates,” Lind said. “We forechecked hard and got below the goal line and worked hard.”

EWU got the sweep despite accruing 20 penalties between the two games. Hanlon was not happy with the trend.

“We took some silly, silly penalties,” Hanlon said. “That’s been a plague we’ve had all year…it’s an Achilles’ heel, if you will.”

The series against UCLA was EWU’s final conference tilt of the season. The Eagles will likely be the No. 2 seed in the PAC-8 Tournament behind Boise State. BSU and EWU have the same conference record, but BSU has the goals against tiebreaker. BSU also has two remaining PAC-8 games against Arizona State. The Broncos will be heavily favored to win those games, and if they do so will lock up the top seed.

Before the PAC-8 Tournament in South Lake Tahoe, CA next month, EWU has six non-conference games remaining. Next up is a two game series on the road at Montana State on Jan. 18 and 19.  

“(We) have to keep battling and moving our feet,” Lucero said. “No more penalties, that’s for sure. We gotta make sure everyone’s ready to go and we’re focused.”