Utes edge out BYU hockey

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Penalties cost the BYU hockey team its first lead of the season against rival Utah, losing 8-4.

BYU came into the game with only one goalie with the loss of Caleb Thomas to a broken jaw and after Emma Seymour’s bag was misplaced and locked in the Wilkinson Center lost and found.

The Utes got an early start on the Cougars, scoring two goals and dominating possession. The Cougars caught some momentum back when the Utes goalie left the ice on a delayed penalty call and BYU’s Mitch Facer poked the puck into the empty net off a Ute’s stick.

“That’s the first time I’ve ever seen that,” BYU Coach Jeremy Weiss said. “In fact, I thought it was pretty amusing personally. But we’ll take it, when goals come as hard as they do for us we’ll take anything we can get.”

The Cougars’ Nick Bartholomew and Cam Hymas executed a perfect three-on-two play to find Ashton Ripley for the tying goal.

“I had just changed for somebody else,” Ripley said. “Nick and Cam were going wide. Nick dropped it off to Cam, I saw it progressing so I busted it to the far post just like practice, kind of hoping for a rebound. I thought he was going to shoot, and it slid right through just perfect and I just tapped it in.”

The Cougars saw early success in the second period, getting a goal from Brandon Patrick and then a five-on-three power play goal from Brendan Hubbard to put the Cougars up 4-2.

It was during the next sequence, Weiss said, two plays changed the momentum. First the Utes were given a penalty shot to put the score 4-3, and then after being up one goal in the third period the Cougars were given a five minute major and the Utes capitalized for three goals. In total, the special teams were hit with seven goals.

The Cougars did, however, get good production from Nick Bartholomew, who has been a catalyst to the offense since moving back to forward. On Saturday he had assists on three of the four BYU goals.

“I’ll play wherever the team needs me to,” Bartholomew said. “I feel at home when I’m out there at forward.”

Even though the loss is hard to take, the Cougars are continuing to improve with each game on both ends of the ice.

“We’re really coming together, and we’re starting to peak at the right time,” Bartholomew said. “Hopefully we can keep it together and start winning some games.”

The Cougars take on the Utah State Aggies Friday in the last game before the Thanksgiving break.

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