As temperatures are cooling down outside, BYU’s hockey team is heating up on the ice.
After beginning their season nearly a month ago, the Cougar hockey team has posted a 2-1-1 record with wins over in-state rivals Utah Valley and Utah State.
Players on the team agree that much of their success has come thanks to support from fans, both in the rink and out.
Senior captain, Ashton Shimbashi, said, “I mean there’s definitely an advantage playing here, having the crowd rally behind you, and being loud and noisy, so it’s always fun to play with that. It just kind of helps get the team motivated and get into it.”
Along with in game support, the cougar hockey team relies on fans to help support the team financially. Because the team isn’t supported by the school, players have to come up with around $2000 each season to pay for all the expenses associated with being a member of the team. This money comes from fans, sponsors, donors, and eventually the players own pockets.
Another senior veteran on the team, Chris Udall, hopes the team can repay fans by playing well on the ice. He said, “Having thousands of fans come in, buying these tickets, it really does help us so that we can have a better season, so that we can give the fans an even better game to come to.”
The Cougars play their home games in the Peaks Ice Arena in Provo. Single game tickets for adults are only $5, students are $3, and ROC pass holders can get in for just $1.50.
Despite having to pay many of the expenses themselves, members of the team are simply excited they can play the game they love. In summarizing why he loves the game, Udall said, “5 guys from each team, with an 8 ounce piece of rubber and a 4×6 net, and you are simply trying to kill each other over this 8 ounce piece of rubber and you’re trying to put it in that 4×6 net. It’s the fastest, most hard hitting, exciting game that you can watch in person, I think, anywhere in the world.”
The Cougars next home match will be Friday, October 26th against rival Utah.