The battle for supremacy has been waged, and the Wolverine hockey team emerged as the 7-3 victor over BYU.
The Wolverines made the arduous journey to the Peaks Ice Arena, located closer to the BYU campus, to overwhelm the sparse blue and white dots sprinkled among the more than 2,300 fans in attendance.
The fans, far exceeding the maximum capacity, were forced to stand in aisles and huddle closely behind the goals to watch the game, ignoring the threats of stoppage issued by the Provo fire marshal.
Unfortunately for the Cougars, it was going to take more than a fire marshal to stop the Wolverines.
The first period of play saw numerous visits to the penalty box for Utah Valley, more than double that of their opponents, which worked in their favor as the Wolverines literally fought hard to set the physical tone early in the game, attacking the undersized Cougar team.
While the penalty killing team saw plenty of ice time, they allowed only one short handed goal the entire game, which came as BYU struck first, scoring against an outnumbered Wolverine defense.
Down 0-1 halfway through the first, the crowd got louder and the Wolverines skated harder and answered back with an unassisted goal from defenseman Michael Drummond.
As quick as the slap-shot goal from the sophomore returned the game to an even plane, the high scoring Wolverine offense shook off the slow start and took control.
Rattling off three straight goals, giving them a 4-1 lead halfway through the second period, shots from nearly every Wolverine player on the ice had the Cougar goaltender bending in all sorts of unnatural positions to attempt to stop the scoring onslaught with little luck.
With Utah Valley ready to bottle up the rout they were brewing,
BYU scored their second goal with seven minutes remaining in the second, to bring the game closer with a 4-2 score.
The Cougar momentum would not last long, however.
The Wolverines immediately seized control back, scoring two quick goals with just one-minute ticking off the clock since the BYU goal.
Utah Valley’s points-leader David Wyman tallied two goals and one assist in the final regular season game, and the team’s captain, Eric Bowman, netted one goal and two assists.
The goal tending was impressive for the Wolverines, with freshman Colin Stebner lined up in the crease. Stebner stopped 33 of the 36 shots attempted on goal for the night, including a lightning quick glove save that took the energy out of a Cougar attempt at a comeback.
The Wolverines skated to an impressive 25-9-3 record this season, including a 2-0-1 record against the Cougars.