BYU hockey loses to WSU amid penalties on and off ice

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BYU lost both games against Weber State University on Friday and Saturday, but they didn’t go down without a fight–literally.

Friday night’s game had a total of 22 penalties, including one player from each team ejected for fighting.

“We play better when we play more physical, and it’s part of the game, but we never go out of our way to try and cheap shot anyone,” defenseman Nick Bartholomew said.

A BYU player brings the puck down the ice during a game against Utah at the Seven Peaks Ice Arena. (Photo by Sarah Hill)

The Cougars and Wildcats were tied on Friday 1-1 until the end of the second period when the Wildcats scored multiple times during a five-minute power play. BYU lost 7-1.

Saturday’s game saw 26 penalties, 13 for each team. The referees ejected BYU’s Mio Aura and Tim Hope after separate in-game scuffles, although neither player instigated the altercations. BYU lost 9-0.

The Cougars were not pleased with the referees’ calls for both games.

“You know what, our guys played their hearts out,” head coach Jeremy Weiss said. “Every time we got a little momentum, the refs killed it for us.”

The referees also ejected a whole row of BYU fans on Saturday for heckling the WSU penalty box. The BYU hockey Twitter feed had no sympathy, stating the fans had not paid to come to the game.

According to Coach Weiss, the Cougars scored a goal on Saturday night, but the referees were not in position to see it, so they didn’t count it.

“It was blatantly obvious to me and my coaching staff, and you know what? The refs had an off night,” Weiss said. “It’s frustrating when you have to beat the officials as well.”

The Cougars began strong in both games, but systematically fell apart as scuffles and penalties heated the team’s emotions.

“Right now, the team is at a phase where we’ve got to start believing in ourselves,” Weiss said.

The Cougars next play the University of Utah on Friday, Feb. 1 in Salt Lake City.

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