BYU hockey continues slide

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Boise State defeated the BYU hockey team in two games this weekend, adding to the rough start the hockey team is going through this season.

The Cougars lost a close 3-2 on Friday, followed by a 6-1 loss on Saturday on the road against the Broncos.

“It’s disappointing because we were playing our systems, and had the games close, but just couldn’t finish it out in the third period,” coach Ryan Newton said.

The team mounted a strong defense on Friday, keeping the Broncos from scoring for two periods on Friday and took a 2-0 lead into the third. But Boise State rallied and took advantages of mistakes made on defense to push in three goals and claim the win.

The game Saturday followed a similar pattern. The Cougars hung around for the first two periods and went into the third period only down 2-1.

“We just let our guard down in the third, and they got some soft goals,” Newton said. “We just didn’t help the bounces go our way.”

The Cougars continued to struggle on offense, only managing to find the back of the net three times in the two games. The team had many shots ricochet off the posts but couldn’t find a way to claim the rebound and stuff it past the goaltender.

“We are taking too many shots right at the goalie and not passing it around looking for space,” Newton said. “We are going to have to emphasize looking for those openings, or creating openings, in practice this week. We can’t win if we only score once and have 34 shots.”

The Cougars third line, which consisted of Jake Nelson, Ashton Ripley and Joey Pratt, scored all of the points for the team in the series.

“Our third line played amazing,” Newton said. “We don’t normally expect a lot of goals coming from the third line, but they played great.”

BYU can take confidence back to Provo in the play of new starter Taylor Barr at goaltender. Barr showed good skills in his first back-to-back starts of the season.

BYU returns to Utah and prepares this week for a Friday night game against the University of Utah.

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