By Daniel Lewis
BYU hockey is hosting the Montana Tech Orediggers on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Peaks Ice Arena, looking to pick up its first win of the season.
BYU is still coming together this season, trying to incorporate new players with the systems the coaching staff has set up. Despite the season’s slow start the team feels confident going into the game this weekend.
“We’ve been working hard this week, I feel like we should do good Saturday,” said BYU forward Tanner Gray.
Although unfamiliar with the opponent, players said their preparation will be the advantage come game time.
“We’ve put in the effort the last few weeks, we really deserve a win,” said BYU defender Tanner Billingsley.
BYU has played six games this season but has yet to develop the chemistry needed to pull out a victory. Their opponent this week, Montana Tech, is a young team that provides a good opportunity for the Cougars to get their first win of the season.
Montana Tech organized last year for their first season. The school, located in Butte, Mont., has a student body of less than 3,000. The team does not have school funding, meaning the players are responsible for most of the fees associated with hockey.
The Orediggers won their first match of the season against Montana State, 4-2. They play Utah State in Logan Friday night before coming to Provo on Saturday.
With their improved play over the weekend in the series against Weber State, the Cougars feel they are at the cusp of greatness, and practice this week has reflected that.
“Coach ran us through some drills to improve on offense, defense, special teams, we just need the chemistry to come together,” Gray said.
The team is looking for a boost from two returning players, Landon Ball and Tanner Gray. Landon missed three games due to a suspension, and Tanner is coming back from a concussion.
“I’m really excited to come back,” Gray said. “Watching the game gives you a different experience, seeing it from a bird’s-eye view. I really want to get out there and play.”
This will be the first-ever game between the two schools.