BYU hockey still looking for momentum

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BYU hockey ended the week unsatisfied with the results of their weekend once more.

The Cougars first faced Weber State, dropping a 12-0 contest in Ogden. Players and coaches would just as soon forget the game and move on.

“It wasn’t a very good game,” BYU Coach Jeremy Weiss said. “There are certain teams in the league that are just better teams than we are, and Weber’s one of them.”

BYU then dropped a close 4-2 contest to the University of Montana on Saturday. The Cougars continued their increased defensive effort and physicality, playing even in shots with Montana for the game. Scoring would not begin until the second period when the Cougars gave up a goal in the second period off a sloppy play that gave the Grizzlies an unassisted goal.

“We battle and have momentum, then we make a bad decision or a bad penalty,” Weiss said. “It changes the momentum. We were not only battling against the other team, but we were battling against ourselves a little tonight as well.”

The Cougars never gave up though and worked hard for several scoring opportunities. Their work payed off when Brandon Hubbard finally found the back of the net on a series of passes from Cam Hymas and David Gebert during a power play in the second period tying the game. Montana pulled ahead again and BYU answered with Nick Bartholomew scoring with back hand off a rebound to bring the Cougars within one goal. With the game close the Cougars pulled their goalie for the final 90 seconds of play and frantically tried to tie the game, but Montana grabbed a loose puck and scored an empty net goal with two seconds remaining in the game.

“We were two evenly matched teams,” captain Tanner Billingsley said. “It just came down to who wanted it more, and the other team won out.”

Weiss was pleased with goalie Caleb Thomas’ performance. Thomas made several impressive saves during the game. On one Grizzly power play, Thomas blocked a puck out of the air with his leg and made another save from his back to prevent a goal on the rebound.

“(Caleb) really stepped it up,” Hubbard said. “He gave us a really good chance to win, and that’s all we could ask for.”

The Cougars will now look forward to three contests on the road against Boise State next week.

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