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The University of Utah came to Provo on Friday night and punished the BYU hockey team, running to a 12-1 win in the second game of the series rivalry.
“The game was obviously frustrating,” defender Tanner Billingsley said. “If we had played like we knew how, it wouldn’t have been so bad.”
The momentum quickly shifted over to the Utah side, with the Utes scoring four times after freshman Jake Nelson evened the score at 1-1 at the 11:43 mark. Freshman Joey Pratt drew the goaltender’s attention while Nelson buried the puck.
“I got the puck from the defender while behind the net, Joey went pole-side, and I caught the goalie cheating and pushed it through his legs,” Nelson said. The goal was the second on the season for Nelson.
Despite tying the game up, the rest of the game was all Utah.
Billingsley, who has developed a reputation for being physical, was ejected for a hard hit, which gave the Utes a five-minute power play.
“I felt like I didn’t deserve the penalty, or the ejection,” Billingsley said. “Maybe the ref felt bad because I hit him so hard.”
The Cougars were overcome by the Utes’ top line, led by forward Beau Bertagnolli. Utah’s line accounted for most of the goals in the contest.
The lopsided game is hard to learn from, but the Cougars do feel like they measured up well on the penalty killing aspect of the game.
“They have one of the best power play units we’ve faced, so we need to take the lessons we learned tonight against their line and move forward from that,” Billingsley said.
Utah now has a 10-3 record, while BYU falls to 0-10 on the season.
The Cougars are emphasizing taking the season one game at a time.
“The coaches told us that we are entering the second phase of the season, and we need to take the attitude that we are 0-0,” Nelson said.
The team now prepares for the next two games, a home and away against the University of Colorado on Friday with a game in Logan against Utah State on Saturday evening.