BYU hockey took both games to overtime this weekend against Boise State, managing to get a win Friday night, 4-3, before falling the Broncos in a shootout Saturday night.
Both games were tied 3-3 at the end of regulation, with the Cougars coming from behind to tie the score. The team fell behind 1-0 Friday and came back from a three-goal deficit Saturday.
“It felt amazing to get a win,” said forward Tanner Gray, who had the game-winning goal Friday. “I have to give credit to my teammates, Tate Cowley and Adam Farero. We had perfect execution on that last goal.”
The Cougars dominated the time of possession Friday, executing the neutral zone trap that the team has been installing in practice recently.
“The trap can be so effective when we stay disciplined,” forward Eric Peterson said. “We did a good job frustrating them and forcing turnovers.”
The Cougars finished the game Friday with a 46-14 shot advantage, only managing to get four goals from those opportunities.
“Their goalie played amazing; he really stood on his head the whole game,” Gray said.
The game Friday started with a Boise State goal on a mistake by goalie Neil Squire. Squire mishandled the puck after Boise State cleared the puck from the zone, letting the puck bounce off his pads and into the goal with no players nearby. He was pulled after the first period; a move the coaching staff felt helped motivate the team during the rest of the game.
“Pulling the goalie after that first goal sent a message to the team, that we weren’t going to have any excuses on why we weren’t going to win,” coach Jeremy Weiss said.
The psychological boost was beneficial, as the team managed to stay focused after two goals that were overturned.
“The coaches told us to go back out there and score again,” Gray said. “We knew we could get some more shots past goal, we just had to go get them.”
The weekend games were the last games for senior forward Eric Peterson, who is graduating in December.
“It’s been a lot of fun playing with the hockey team,” Peterson said. “It’s been stressful balancing school, family and hockey, but I can’t imagine what my time here would have been like without playing for this team.”
Friday’s game was emotional for both teams, with the goaltender for Boise State visibly frustrated after giving up the game winner. Many of the players chose to forgo the traditional post-game handshake and went straight to the locker room after the final whistle. Boise State used that frustration to stake their team to a 3-0 lead Saturday, only to see BYU score two goals in two minutes and tie the game in the third.
However, BYU couldn’t get the puck past Boise State’s goalie in overtime, and the teams headed for a shootout, where Boise State was victorious.
BYU takes a break over Thanksgiving and has heir next game Dec. 2 in Salt Lake City against the University of Utah.