BYU hockey sees increase in attendance

BYU hockey captain Ashton Shimbashi fights for the puck against UVU. (BYU Hockey)
BYU hockey captain Ashton Shimbashi fights for the puck against UVU. (BYU Hockey)

BYU hockey has struggled with attendance throughout the years.

Last season the team was only able to generate 100-300 fans for home games. This was in part due to a number of losses and the constant battle to rebuild the team each season.

However, players and coaches believe things will be different this season.

Head coach Ed Gantt has assembled a team with experienced returning players and energetic newcomers. The new-look Cougars dominated UVU 10-2 in their season opener on October 15.

The on-ice results energized the crowd.

“The crowd that was there Saturday night, I think they could feel it, they could see what was going on,” Gantt said.

The crowd remained locked-in throughout the game and Gantt and the team were amazed to see the arena packed with 2,000 people.

“This is my fourth year playing and we never filled the bottom half of the arena at any of my other games,” captain Tate Cowley said of the crowd.

Cowley only dreamed about having the arena packed at games. He said he had jitters when he first saw so many people, but was excited to compete for the fans.

Andrew Strobelt echoed Cowley on how exciting it was to see the “incredible” fan turnout and their support of the team.

Gantt said the players enjoyed every single minute and didn’t want the game to end.

“Our guys are having a blast when the place is packed and people are chanting,” Gantt said.

Strobelt said being able to feed of the crowd’s energy helps them build confidence.

“The biggest things with the fans is the confidence that it gives us,” Strobelt said“We want to play for the team and we want to play for the fans.”

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