The BYU hockey team remains upbeat after a tight loss to San Diego State University on Friday.
The Aztecs beat the Cougars 6-3. While considering that SDSU plays in a league higher than that of BYU, the Cougars saw their loss in a positive light.
“We fought back. [SDSU] is a good team. We gave them a run for their money,” BYU goalkeeper Dalton Spice said. “It’s just fixing those little things, fixing those little problems, and we can compete with any of the top teams.”
The Cougars added seven new players to their roster this semester and Spice is one of them. In fact, he made his debut making 32 saves despite the overwhelming number of shots against him.
“Dalton did above and beyond what I had hoped for, especially given the fact that this is his first game in three years,” Head Coach Jeremy Weiss said. “Our defensemen weren’t playing proper tactical defensive hockey.”
Defense was indeed the downfall of the Cougars’ game on Friday. They exploded from the locker room and played a fast-paced game, but fatigue quickly set in.
“I think we were a little rusty from the break and we just need to get a little sharper in our decision making,” Team captain and defender Tanner Billingsley said. “We’re not going to have another game like that again.”
Despite this loss, BYU hockey teammates look forward to the rest of the season.
“We have some new players that really give us some more firepower,” BYU forward Brendan Hubbard said. “It was a good test to see how things would mesh for us.”
The Cougars will continue to practice tightening up their defense, but team unity will play a key role in their success.
“We all get along, and that’s crucial to win games.” BYU forward C.J. Coslett said.
Despite this loss, the BYU hockey team is excited for the rest of the season because of the potential they possess on the ice.
“There’s definitely a lot we can build off of and keep improving,” Weiss said. “Our team just needs to understand what it takes to win and get in the habit of winning.”
BYU and SDSU have not played each other since 2008, when the Cougars lost to the Aztecs 8-4.