So much for a long layoff having a negative affect on a player. Freshman defenseman Chris Hau hadn't played since being suspended two weeks ago against Colorado, but after taking an early penalty Hau looked like he had never been gone Saturday night at the Edora Pool and Ice Center.
Hau scored the first two goals of the game and assisted on the final tally to lead the Rams to a 3-2 victory Saturday night over Eastern Washington.
"I was really exited to play tonight, especially after the suspension," Hau said. "We always want to come out firing, but I especially wanted to tonight to get back into it, and all the guys came out ready and played great."
The Rams were very business-like through the first two periods, but they let the game slip a bit in the final stanza to allow Eastern Washington to gain some momentum.
"We had a really good flow and I thought we moved the puck very well," said head coach Rod Wolfe. "The team kind of had a little bit of a let down in the final period but we were OK."
This win, coupled with the 6-2 win on Friday night over Eastern Washington, puts the Rams as the American Collegiate Hockey Association's No. 1 team in the Western Division, and likely No. 3 overall, going into nationals.
Sophomore Brian Mumford led in Friday's win with a four-point effort, getting a goal and three assists.
"Friday's game was real rough; it totaled 44 penalties. It was pretty much the longest game ever," said club president Jordan Stover. "Plus, basically the whole team was sick so it was nice to get through it."
The Rams got through the game with no real threat, as they ended Eastern Washington's 14-game winning streak and put their hopes for a bid to nationals in jeopardy.
However, the Wolfe is very confident in the team accomplishing its goals, including the number one goal of a national title.
"I think we've had a really great season thus far," Wolfe said. "Some of the guys that have been here for a few years are getting excited because they know this team has what it takes. Previous teams over the last few years have had a few pieces missing, but this team has the whole picture. I know we can win nationals."
Although the confidence is certainly there, Wolfe did say there is one thing the Rams need to get better at.
"Discipline," Wolfe said. "This team tends to retaliate to much, but we certainly have the talent. We just need to be more disciplined."
The Rams have now finished up their conference play and will travel to Jackson Hole, Wyo., to play in a tournament against teams filled with former semi-pro and professional players. The Rams also have a game at Wyoming in Laramie in a couple weeks before heading to nationals.