The BYU hockey team couldn’t stay out of the box, resulting in a 12-0 loss to Utah State.
During the first period the Cougars were penalized several times, resulting in seven goals for the Aggies. However, the Cougars have proven resilient in these situations throughout the year, playing hard until the very end.
“If we’re getting beat pretty bad, we’re working together trying to pick something we can achieve together and build off of that,” junior forward Nick Bartholomew said. “We’re all trying to stay as positive as we can together as a team and uplift each other so that we can start winning some games.”
The positivity paid off in the second period, as the Cougars were able to hold the Aggies to a 0-0 tie, and, according to Bartholomew, forced them to play their game. BYU Coach Jeremy Weiss saw an effect on the Aggies as well.
“We were more physical than they were, and it frustrated them,” Weiss said. “That was why the game started getting out of hand (in the third period) because we were laying clean solid hits, and they didn’t like it. We definitely played a physical brand of hockey.”
The third period was similar to the first period, with some questionable calls coming from the officials on two of BYU’s best defenders. Senior Scott Johnson was given a five-minute major and suspension for the next game for fighting when it appeared he was only trying to wrap up the opposing player who had dropped his gloves. After he was called for targeting the head, Tanner Billingsley was also disqualified from the game and will serve a one-game suspension.
“I thought it was a good clean hit, but I think the refs thought it was a little dirty,” Billingsley said.
Weiss said he remains impressed with the players’ attitudes to continue playing through their troubles instead of quitting. The team will get a boost getting a rest over the next two weeks to heal, but Billingsley doesn’t want the team to relax too much.
“We gotta be sure we are staying sharp and staying in shape so that we can hit the ground running when we get back after Thanksgiving break,” Billingsley said.
The Cougars’ next home game comes out of state for a two-game series against Montana Tech Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.