UTEP hockey storms back to defeat Texas A&M, advance in TCHC playoffs

Jeremy Carranco, Sports Editor

Trailing 4-2 in the third period, the UTEP men’s hockey club used three straight goals, including two from Matt Sanca to complete a 5-4 comeback win over the Texas A&M Aggies in the first round of the Texas Collegiate Hockey Conference (TCHC) playoffs at Chaparral Ice Arena in Austin, Texas.

With the win, the No. 2 seeded Miners and 2017 TCHC defending champions have advanced to the semi-finals where they will face the top-seeded North Texas Mean Green tomorrow afternoon.

The Miners (19-10, 16-4 TCHC) led 1-0 in the first period with a goal from Parker Levitt before the No. 3 seeded Aggies would score four of the game’s next six goals to take a 4-2 lead. Texas A&M earned their fourth goal early in the third period from Jaren Panick, followed by two UTEP goals within one minute (Josh Baeza, Matt Sanca) to knot things up.

Sanca earned the hat-trick with three total goals in the win. His two third period goals were both the tying and go-ahead score. Sanca’s only goal outside of the third came in the second when the Aggies were leading 3-1.

UTEP has now won 12 of their last 14 games overall, including a two-game sweep of North Texas in El Paso back on Dec. 2-3, 2017 (6-4, 8-1) in the teams’ only meetings.

Puck drop against the Mean Green is scheduled for 3:45 p.m. CT at Chaparral Ice Arena.