The BYU hockey team hopes to find its groove this weekend after an encouraging effort against Utah State.
Last week BYU had the worst game of its season, losing 14-2 against Weber State. Coach Jeremy Weiss classified the loss as a “meltdown.” However, the Cougars bounced back against the Aggies and were able to see some improvement in some of the small things in their play.
“That was a game we focused on a couple of areas we could control,” captain Brendan Hubbard said. “We were able to do a little more of that. So that was good, but obviously the outcome we didn’t like still.”
This week Weiss has changed his approach to help improve on the increased execution the team saw against Utah State.
“We’ve changed our tune just a little bit,” Weiss said. “Obviously team play is still a huge issue for us, but my main focus is that the guys have fun and play a relaxed game. I think some of our issue has been overthinking.”
Weiss hopes this approach will also help the team keep its spirits up in what has proved to be a tough season. The Cougars will need such an attitude going into what should be another heated contest. The end of last week’s game saw six game misconducts and several fights.
“I would expect as physical a game,” Weiss said. “Our team is not going to get pushed around. We can’t let other teams take liberty with us.”
Captain Tanner Billingsley said there is a reason for the increased physical nature of the Weber State game.
“Things are starting to get heated between us,” Billingsley said. “You start to talk back and forth and get to know them really well (out on the ice). That’s not necessarily a good thing.”
After Friday’s game in Ogden, the Cougars will return home to a team they have not met in previous seasons. The University of Montana seems to be somewhat of a mystery, with no record online of this year’s season. BYU will have to wait until the game to find out about its opponent.
“We have no idea about how they’re going to come out,” Billingsley said. “The first period will be spent just trying to figure out where their strengths and weaknesses are and then adjusting throughout the game.”
The puck drops Saturday at 7:30 in Peaks Ice Arena.