Most collegiate sports fans know that Hockey can be one of the most physical sports.
While fighting in other sports is a big deal, fighting on the ice means only five minutes in a penalty box.
The fist game of the season, the Wolverines came out fighting against Utah State. UVU had as many as three players in the penalty box at one time, giving one of their biggest rivals a three-man power play advantage.
Having only a goaltender and two defenders for five minutes was a challenge for the team to stop goals.
The Wolverines lost 15-1 to Utah State. It almost comes as no surprise after losing head coach Matt Beaudry and four of their best players from last year. It’s a time to rebuild a team, coaching staff and confidence.
After the game, team captain and head of fundraising Eric Bowman said, “It’s tough to be positive after a game like that, but at the same time we got a lot of rookies, a lot of young kids on the team, and they got a lot to work on. But we’ll be fine. We expect a good season.”
As for the new players who skated for the first time as Wolverines, Eric Bowman said, “They are good. They work hard, and that is something we lacked last year. We had a lot of skill and talent, but at practice, a lot of guys wouldn’t work hard. The guys we brought in this year are busting their butts.”
The new coach, Kevin Cook, is well respected in the Utah hockey community. He is a Utah local that does a lot for the hockey community. “Coach Cook does a lot not only for the team, but he coaches three other teams,” Bowman says. “He is a great coach and a great guy.”
As the team rebuilds after starting four years ago, Bowman said, “This team is something you see a lot in hockey . . . (We have) up and down years, but we are playing for each other. We are like a family. Everyone is really good friends.”
Last year, this team became divided because of fundraising disputes. Bowman said, “Obviously, we had a lot of drama go down from our coaching staff last year. It really ruined a lot of summers. I think everyone is starting to bounce back really well from that.”
Even though the team was losing, the fans showed great support. And as the team improves, there is a definite demand for students to have a successful hockey team. Bowman said, “We want to start working hard just for the fans who were out there. We were getting beat 15-1 and we had a full cheering section. Just seeing that kind of support from the students in our school is going to drive us that much harder.”