Oxford Hockey Starts 2019 with Win Over Utica United, 5-3

Oxford Hockey Starts 2019 with Win Over Utica United, 5-3

The Oxford Avondale United Hockey Team started the year facing off against Utica United at home. OA started on the Power Play almost immediately but Utica was able to bring a strong fore-check, keeping OA in their own zone to start.  As the period moved on with both sides taking shots, Utica was able strike first on a quick shot on Sophomore goalie Austin Spivey who got the start to take a 1-0 lead.  That score would hold until later in the period when OA went back on the Power Play.  Senior Forward Zach Rauh started the play with a hit to get the puck in the Utica zone where Sophomore forward Ethan Schneider passed the puck to Junior Defenseman Donovin Thompson who after his initial shot was stopped, followed up on the rebound to tie the score at 1-1 which is how the period ended.

The second period had both teams killing off penalty's but Utica spent the most time in the OA zone where goalie Austin Spivey was able to stop all 16 shots, while OA was only able to get a couple of shots on goal until the 3:45 mark of the period when Defenseman Donovin Thompson got the puck in low to Freshman Forward Brian Budde who set up Sophomore Forward Brendan Vogler who beat the Utica goalie top shelf to put OA on top 2-1.  OA was not done as Sophomore Forward Jake Billis stole a puck off the face off then passed it in to Senior Defenseman Ben Pratt who streaked in on net and score just 5 seconds later to bring the score to a 3-1 OA lead as the period ended.

Utica kept up the pressure on goalie Austin Spivey right out of the gate, and on a play where the refs missed a clear high stick that actually got stuck behind the mask of the OA forward, they finally were able to get a puck by Spivey to bring the game closer at 3-2.  While still fired up about the goal, OA Forward Jake Billis won a faceoff in the Utica zone cleanly back to Defensemen Ben Pratt who fired the puck from just inside the blue line into the top corner of the net only 25 seconds after the Utica goal to get the score to 4-2.  OA was able to score again 6 minutes later as Sophomore Forward Kyle Vogler was able to chip the puck past the Utica Defense where Ben Pratt pick it up and put a tremendous shot on net beating the Utica Goalie high on the far side of the net to complete his Hat Trick, taking the lead to 5-2.  Utica continued the pressure and were able to get a third goal at the 5:53 mark of the third to cut the lead to 5-3, but Spivey then stood tall as Utica pulled their net minder with almost 3 minutes left to try to get the additional goals.  OA was able to hold them off to complete the victory at 5-3.

Goalie Austin Spivey made 39 saves on 42 shots, while Senior Captain Ben Pratt had 3 goals to lead the way for OA.  Junior Dovovin Thompson had 1 goal and 1 assist, and Sophomore Jake Billis had 2 assists.  Senior Forward Zach Rauh had a season high 12 hits to lead OA.