By Blake Long/Special to the Journal
TUPELO – Mississippi State goalie Stephen Diaz successfully defended 23 Ole Miss shot attempts in the opening 15 minutes of Saturday night’s contest.
The Rebels eventually found the back of the net – a lot – in a 20-0 victory over MSU to sweep the yearly series.
A combined two-night crowd of 4,191 saw Ole Miss (11-8, 3-1 South Eastern Collegiate Hockey Conference) score 37 goals on the Bulldogs (0-10, 0-6). The Rebels won the opener 17-1 on Friday.
“We always preach that you have to play defense first, and we did that in this game by far,” said Ole Miss coach Kristian Skou. “You learn what you can and you try not to develop bad habits when the game is as lopsided as it is.”
The offensive onslaught by Ole Miss kept Diaz very busy. The Rebels held possession the majority of the game and totaled 120 shots on goal.
few shots on goal
On the opposite end, Rebel goalie Justin Ragland saw little action. Mississippi State had only four shots the entire game, three of which came off the stick of Joey Weigand.
“It’s always hard to stay focused in a game like this where you don’t face a whole lot of shots,” said Skou. “The fact that (Justin) was able to keep that shutout, it makes it that much better.”
Ten different Ole Miss players scored goals. Quinten Humphrey scored the first in the opening period had a nice make through Diaz’s legs while falling to the ice with 11:07 to play.
Cody Fullinwider, Cameron Cook, Leo Cuzin and Matt Obstarczyk scored three goals apiece for hat tricks. Cuzin – a native of Paris, France – also had three assists.
Humphrey’s opening goal was quickly followed by scores by Fullinwider and Cook for a 3-0 lead at the first intermission.
The Rebels added eight goals in the second and nine in the third. Brendan Sullivan’s goal as the final horn sounded capped the game.