Cougars encouraged despite losses

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The BYU hockey team suffered a 14-2 loss to Weber State and a 9-0 loss to Utah State in two very different games with two very different efforts.

The Cougars opened Friday against the Wildcats.  The game went south in the opening minutes and the Cougars looked flat. Weber State scored seven goals in the opening period on 19 shots against two different goalies. Coach Jeremy Weiss decided then to put in Emma Seymour for her first action.

“The game was a complete meltdown,” Weiss said. “I threw Emma in. I wasn’t sure if she was ready for the pace of the game yet. She came in and played really well.”

Seymour increased the save percentage of the team, giving up one goal for every seven shots. However, the offense lacked the team play needed to win according to team captain Tanner Billingsley. He summed up the game in one word: “frustrating.”

The final period of the game would also prove costly the next night. There were six game misconducts, three for each team, after several fights. Referees suspended Ryan Hoeke for one game and Nick Bartholomew reinjured his knee bringing the tally to four unavailable for the game against the Aggies. Utah State came into the game as the No. 2 team in the West and looked the part. However, Weiss was pleased with what he saw.

“I never thought I’d be proud of our play with 9-0 game,” Coach Jeremy Weiss said. “That is the best execution of team systems that we have done.”

The Cougars showed hustle all night making the Aggies work for their goals. The Aggies dominated shot count 58 to 20. However, the Aggies scoring came from breakdowns at the end of the second and third periods. Weiss couldn’t expect any more from his players.

“We had guys injured and suspended so we had a very short lineup,” Weiss said. “Guys are exhausted (at the end of periods). So for the lineup we had and the discipline level we played, I am very proud of the way our team played tonight.”

Emma Seymour saw her first start and performed admirably. She ended the game with a .845 save percentage and several crowd awing saves. Weiss had nothing but praise for the play of his freshman goalie.

“Emma was an absolute standout in net,” Weiss said. “She is bringing a lot of consistency to the game that I’m very pleased with.”

Seymour wasn’t content with her performance.

“I definitely could have done better on some things like stay out of the net more,” Seymour said. “There is always room for improvement.”

Billingsley said they are going to use this game as momentum.

“We had fun playing tonight,” Billingsley said. “It brought a lot of good energy into the locker room. We now know what we can do and we are going to be able to translate that into other games.”

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