In-state rivalry weekend proves difficult for BYU hockey

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By Cody Eddington

The Cougars struggled to perform early on against University of Utah, which resulted in another loss at Peaks Arena in Provo Friday night amidst a nearly sold-out crowd of 1,100 fans. This pattern repeated itself to a slightly smaller crowd Saturday night against a strong Utah State team.

Both games showcased the Cougars’ inability to keep the puck out of their net in losses to Utah, 12-3, and Utah State, 17-4.

After Friday’s loss, BYU coach Jeremy Weiss commented on the goaltending issues BYU has dealt with this season.

[media-credit id=152 align=”alignleft” width=”150″][/media-credit]”We are in a rebuilding phase of the program right now. We had an issue with our starting goalie quitting. So what we’re trying to do is build on things that are trackable,” Weiss said. “Right now we know goaltending is one of our weaknesses so we’re looking at shots on net and scoring chances.”

In both appearances, BYU subbed out their starting goalies for the second string, which proved to be a good move in the first game and didn’t make a substantial difference in the second after starting goalie Caleb Thomas let an easy save slip past him.

During the 3rd period of both games, BYU had some exciting brawls which ignited the crowd and ultimately resulted in both teams losing players to the locker room before the game ended.

After losing two games, one to a double-digit deficit and the other close to it, the Cougars remain optimistic and hopeful they can salvage something from the remainder of the season.

“We’re actually coming together,” said BYU forward Mitch Facer, who led the team in scoring Saturday against the Aggies. “The team itself is passing more, shooting more, we’re skating harder, our forward line is contributing. We’re all skating well and throwing our bodies around and overall a much better team.”

The Utes improved their season record to 18-6-0. Utah State now has a 23-1-1 record. Both teams have proven themselves the top teams in the Western division.

BYU will go back to the drawing board in preparing for next week as they will head south to Arizona to face Northern Arizona University on unlucky Friday the 13th and Arizona State on Saturday.

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