IceCats to Play Rivals for Bragging Rights

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    By Ali Williams

    The BYU IceCats finish their regular season this weekend with away games against the Utah State Aggies Friday, Feb. 10, 2006 at 8:00 p.m. and the Weber State Wildcats Saturday night, Feb. 11, at 8:30.

    These games have no playoff implications, but BYU head coach Ed Gantt said his team still has plenty of motivation.

    “This weekend is like the state championship playoffs for us,” Gantt said. “We”re playing for bragging rights. Whoever wins the last game holds those rights for the next year.”

    The IceCats go into Logan Friday with an even 2-2 record on the season against the Aggies. BYU has won the last two matchups between the rivals and will look to continue that winning streak in the Barn at Utah State.

    “We”ve never beat Utah State up there,” IceCats player Derek Battisti said. “It”s always a good rivalry and it will be fun to play them.”

    Gantt said the game versus Weber State on Saturday carries some emotional weight with it as well.

    “Weber came in and robbed one from us,” Gantt said. “We”ve got a score to settle with them.”

    Battisti looks forward to this game also.

    “We”re going to go get Weber,” he said. “We owe them.”

    The two teams have played three times since the beginning of December 2005, and each of the three meetings has gone to overtime. Weber State was victorious in two of the three games, the most recent coming at the Peaks Ice Arena Jan. 26, 2006, when BYU gave up a four-goal lead in the third period, allowing the overtime period in which Weber scored the game-winning goal.

    These two rivalry games will be the last tune-up for the IceCats before the regional tournament in San Jose next weekend.

    “We”re really looking forward to this weekend,” Gantt said. “It will be a good measure for us going into regionals.”

    The top ten ranked teams in the region earn a playoff berth, with the top two teams getting an automatic bid to the national tournament. The rest of the eight teams play in the regional tournament for the right to join those teams at nationals.

    In the final polls that were released Feb. 5, 2006, the IceCats were ranked eighth, cementing their berth at regionals.

    (For comments, e-mail Alison Williams at )

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