The BYU hockey team looks to cowboy up and win two games this weekend against Boise State in the last home games of the semester.
BYU and BSU have played two games this season already, with both games taking place in Boise. The Broncos won both games, 3-2 and 6-1. The Cougars have tinkered around with their systems and lineup since the losses and feel they are going to be more competitive over the weekend.
“We feel really good about this weekend,” forward Tate Cowley said. “If we can execute, and limit our mistakes, we’ll come away with two wins.”
The team is coming off a loss against Utah State, but it was a game the Cougars kept close for 40 minutes, a huge confidence boost for the young team, according to coach Jeremy Weiss.
“We saw that we could skate with one of the best teams in the country if we play our very best,” Weiss said.
The team took the positive from its last game and plans to use it in future games.
“We saw our potential against Utah State, and the confidence we gained from that is only going to help us going forward,” Cowley added.
The Cougar offense has been balanced across all lines and the team feels it will be up to the task against Boise State.
“They have a really good goalie, but they can make mental mistakes and we can take advantage of that,” defender Scott Johnson said.
Boise State has struggled to put the puck in the net, having scored an average of about two goals a game. They have a physical, defensive system the Cougars will have to cope with to win. The Broncos’ leading scorer, Eric Haskins, has seven goals and three assists this season.
BYU has been running a new system — a trap defense — that helped slow the Aggies offense last weekend. The team ran drills to improve running it during the week and hopes to continue using it well.
“The trap worked better than we had imagined, and if we continue to improve our execution, it’s going to make our team a lot better,” Johnson said.
But a new system isn’t the only thing new for BYU’s hockey team.
In a show of support, some members of the team are growing out mustaches for “Movember.” Facial hair is a big part of the hockey culture, as some teams grow out playoff beards to help bring their team luck on the ice.
The weekend games are also the final home games for two of the players, senior Eric Peterson and Travis Kotter. This will be the last chance for fans to see the two forwards in action for the Cougars.
The games will be played at Seven Peaks Ice Arena and start at 7:30 p.m. Admission this weekend is $5 on Friday and $2 on Saturday if a ticket stub from Friday’s game is shown. Tickets on Saturday will be the normal price of $5 without the Friday ticket.