The BYU hockey team fell to Utah in their third match-up of the season Saturday, with the scoreboard reading 7-0 when the clock read triple zeros.
“We did everything well [Saturday] except score,” BYU coach Ryan Newton said. “We’ve got to find a way to get the puck into the net.”
The Cougars managed to get 32 shots on goal, but were not able to get the puck past Utah’s goaltender. The struggle to get effective pressure on goal has been a problem for BYU this season, according to the coaches.
“We got a lot of shots on goal, we just are being out-muscled by the other team’s defenders in front of the goal,” Newton said. “We just need to get more man strength.”
Utah started off the game fast, seizing the momentum provided by their home crowd. BYU goaltender Taylor Barr got the starting position, but let some shots get into the goal and was pulled for backup Neil Squire for the second period with the team down 4-0.
The move worked well for the Cougars, as Squire played well for the rest of the game, giving up only three goals in the remaining two periods. But the team couldn’t capitalize on opportunities, and the mistakes made were not equalized with goals by BYU. BYU gave up two goals on the power play, with the remaining goals coming at even strength.
“There was a few times we couldn’t clear the puck out of our zone, and Utah took advantage of that to get good looks at goal,” Newton said.
BYU had strong performances from Tate Cowley, Tanner Gray and Landon Ball. The coaches recognized the effort they put forth and the shots they put on goal.
“Their line put some good pressure on goal, they played really well,” Newton said.
With the win, Utah improves to 12-2 at home, while BYU falls to 0-7 away from the Seven Peaks arena.
BYU will practice twice this week to prepare for a road trip to face UNLV in their last games of the calender year. The teams will play Dec. 9 and 10. UNLV currently has a 6-7 record.
But hockey doesn’t stop at the end of the semester, with 11 games left on the schedule. The team will jump back into competition after the winter break with two home games against Utah and Utah State in the first week back in January.