The Cougar hockey team returns home empty handed after long November road trip

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BYU’s hockey team played a tough series of road games and came home empty handed, losing to Boise State, San Jose State and Weber State by a combined 21–6.

The Cougars lost to the Broncos 6–2 on Nov. 21, then to the Spartans 7–4 on Nov. 22 and then got blasted by the Wildcats 8–0 for the final game of the road trip.

The BYU hockey team lost three road games this week and will go into a December break hoping to regroup. Photo courtesy BYU Hockey.
The BYU hockey team lost three road games this week and will go into a December break hoping to regroup. Photo courtesy BYU Hockey.

The Cougars continue to struggle this season as their hopes for key players to return from injury have been dashed to pieces repeatedly. The lack of players has not led to a lack of effort from BYU’s players, but it has affected their winning percentage. The combination of many road games against strong opponents with BYU’s short bench proved to be too much for the Cougars.

Against Boise State, the Cougars celebrated when Cody Bromley scored his first collegiate goal for BYU, but that was one of the few things that went well against Boise.

“Our power play did not perform tonight,” said head coach Josh Burkart said. “Offensively our team did not generate many scoring opportunities.”

The offensive scoring opportunities were a point of focus for BYU going against San Jose, as well as staying disciplined in defensive zones. Unfortunately BYU’s efforts to do so did not come to culmination against San Jose.

“It wasn’t the finish we wanted,” BYU’s Mark Gantt said. “We had a lot of cooperation and everyone was working hard, but we were playing a difficult team.”

The Cougars played hard against San Jose State and may have come out on top if not for being able to defend during penalty kills. Gantt added that the Cougars didn’t let up once.

Against Weber State, BYU hung with Weber the first period, ending the period with a 1–0 deficit, but the Wildcats blew the door wide open in the second period and BYU was unable to recover.

“We kept them out of the inside zone the first period,” BYU’s Josh Patrick said. “But in the second and third period they got a whole bunch of rebounds that led to a lot of goals.”

While getting a lot of penalties called against BYU wasn’t helpful, Patrick also said they will have to work on being more aggressive and getting to the puck first in future games.

BYU has only two wins under its belt so far this season. Despite the odds, the never-give-up attitude that BYU has continues on as the team heads into a much-needed break before December’s games.

“We don’t have the most skilled team, but we have the hardest working team,” Gantt said. “Everyone has a lot of heart, on and off the ice.”

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