The BYU hockey team was denied its first victory of the season by the Skatin’ Utes, losing 12-2 on Friday.
“Our spirits are a little low right now,” assistant coach Ryan Newton said. “No one likes to lose.”
The game was physical, with the Cougars being aggressive, but the calls weren’t going in favor of BYU.
“We came out playing tough, but the refs were calling a really tight game and we just didn’t adjust to that,” BYU forward Tim Hope said.
The Utes, led by alternate captain Beau Bertagnolli, capitalized on the power play advantage they held during the game to put the game out of reach.
“Take away those power play goals and you’re looking at a 3-2 game,” Newton said.
The team will look to recover on another short week with hopes to iron out some of the wrinkles the team has found in its first four games. With four games in the last two weeks, the team will need to physically prepare for a two game set this weekend.
Even with the loss, the Cougars were able to see some positives from the game, according to Newton.
“We were really impressed with the effort from the fourth line and ended up putting them on some of Utah’s top lines because they were being strong, disciplined and just putting in the effort,” he said.
BYU got another goal from sophomore forward Cam Hymas, who has been a consistent threat on offense for the team. Hymas was able to push the puck in after getting position and being physical in front of the net, slamming in a rebound for his third goal on the season.
Mitch Facer scored the other goal for the Cougars.
The game, although played on the road for both teams, brought out the red in those who attended at the Vernal rink, defender Scott Johnson said.
“It’s a smaller rink, so the crowd wasn’t real big,” Johnson said. “They were happy to have a college level game there, but they were happy to see Utah win.”
The Cougars were shorthanded going in, with two players sitting out for the game. Tanner Grey suffered a concussion last week, and Landon Ball had to sit out due to a penalty from the previous game against Weber State.
BYU now has a 0-4 record on the season.