BYU hockey shuts down Montana State in back-to-back games

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Ari Davis
Cougar forward Chris Tuttle looks for an open man in the Jan. 24 matchup against Montana State. The Cougars swept Montana State 7-5 and 9-4 in back-to-back games Jan. 23 and Jan 24. (Ari Davis)

BYU shut down Montana State in back-to-back games this weekend. The Cougars won Friday night 7-5 and Saturday night 9-4. Forward Axel Boyer highlighted the weekend with two hat tricks. “It feels better to win than to score two hat tricks,” said Boyer. “We’ve been waiting all season long for this.”

The Cougars dominated the game early with two quick goals. Boyer started his second hat trick with a goal five minutes into the second period. Montana State countered with a goal with eight minutes to go and another one a minute later. Boyer answered with another goal 10 seconds later.

The Cougars shut the door on the Bobcats during the third period with a third goal from Boyer and four more goals from the Cougars. Goalie Mark Gantt was 38/42 for saves amounting a 91 save percentage. “Everyone is playing for each other, and that’s been the big difference this semester,” Gantt said. This weekend, the Cougars also played for someone else. Former player Jaxon Logan passed away during a game on January 21st 2005 after a puck hit his chest while attempting to block the goal. Logan suffered Commotio Cordis and his heart stopped. He wasn’t able to recover. This weekend they honored him and his legacy before Friday night’s game marking the 10th anniversary of his last hockey game.

This weekend ends a losing streak for the Cougars. “It feels terrific. We’ve spent the whole season competing with great teams. We knew we were a great team; we just couldn’t get over the hump, and finally this week we showed what we got a lot of skill, a lot of grit,” said head coach Ed Gantt. “We’ve known all season we’re a better team than our record. This weekend is a confirmation.”

The team returns to Peaks Arena to host the first Mountain West Collegiate Hockey League Tournament Feb. 5–7. Three games will be held Feb. 6 at 4:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.