The BYU hockey team is preparing to take on Montana Tech and Montana State in a double-header this Friday and Saturday in its return from Thanksgiving break.
The break allowed a few of BYU’s injured players to recuperate so they’ll be back this week, and BYU hopes to build on its past success against Montana State and earn a win in its first contest this year with Montana Tech.
“We beat Montana State by one before,” said BYU captain Brendan Hubbard said. “We came out slow, but this time we need to come out a lot stronger and not get behind.”
BYU beat Montana State after being down 3-1 at one point in the game. Montana was a very physical team that battered many of the BYU players, which preceded several Cougar injuries the next night.
Some players are returning this week, while key contributors Ryan Hoeke and Nick Bartholomew continue to sit out due to concussions.
Coach Josh Burkart said it’d be nice to have a few more bodies in the lineup.
“Looking at the roster, it’s the most players we’ve had over the season,” Burkart said. “We’ve been going the last bit with few players, so it will be nice to have some extra bodies in the game.”
Burkart added that BYU will have to play a complete game with no mistakes against both teams if the Cougars expect to win.
“We’ve played Montana State before and will focus on their main guys,” Burkart said. “We were down 3 to 1 because guys were lazy in their zone and were turning the puck over. We know we can put goals in against them.”
As for Montana Tech, BYU will be playing the team for the first time this season. Burkart said BYU will have to play its very best against Montana Tech.
“They are good enough to be ranked in the top 10 (nationally),” Burkart said. “We will have to limit mistakes and capitalize when they make mistakes. The special teams need to be going full tilt as well.”