Utah Valley University took to the ice to face their crosstown foes, Brigham Young University on Friday, Sept. 27. The stat sheet might have said BYU was the “home team,” but the stands were equally filled with green and blue shirts.
The Wolverines came out prepared to show the Cougars they were a force to be reckoned with, and they did just that by being first on the scoreboard. Just a minute and a half into the first period, forward Andrew Pyper, snuck one past the goalie. The goal came as power play with a teammate in the penalty box.
UVU would go on a scoring drought, while BYU went on a scoring spree with five unanswered goals. Three of those goals came when the Wolverines were a man down due to penalties. The first period ended in favor of BYU with a score of 5-1.
“If you look at our games against BYU and you break them down, they have four power play goals tonight,” said forward Brady Fisher. “If you take those away it’s a 4-2 hockey game, that’s a completely different atmosphere.”
Just as UVU wasted no time in period one to score, BYU’s Ian Thurhorst wasted no time in the second, getting the puck past goalie Keaton Morrison. This would be goal number five out of six for Thunhorst on the night. The Wolverines would have their chances to bounce back midway through the second period. This time the Cougars found themselves short two guys due to penalties, but UVU couldn’t capitalize and would go scoreless in the second period. This left one more period with the score at 6-1.
The Wolverines would play 10 minutes out of the 20 with men in the penalty box, while the Cougars played with a full team for all but four minutes.
“It really hurts when you go down a guy, not just on the ice and on the scoreboard, but it gets us out of rhythm,” said forward Adam Hill. “Those penalties are all avoidable and something we need to fix.”
This Wolverines roster is full of talent from veterans who have been with the team for three years, to guys just putting on UVU uniforms for the first time. In fact, 14 out of the 26 deep roster are first year rookies to the team.
“We have a long way to come from last year,” said defender Sean Goar. “Everyone knows that we can be one of the best teams, it’s going to come down to whether we can melt or not as a team.”
Period three would be the nail in the coffin for UVU with two more BYU goals. UVU forward Joel Clark kept fighting though and got the Wolverines one last goal with 16 and a half minutes left in period three. The game would end with a score of 8-2 in favor of the Cougars.
“We are a lot better team than what we displayed tonight,” said UVU head coach Darin Peck. “I’m very impressed with how far they’ve come already and what they can do.”
“I feel that by mid-season it will be us, it will be our turn,” said Peck.
To learn more about the UVU hockey team and be up to date on their upcoming games, follow them on Instagram.
This UVU hockey team is not a team to sleep on. Sure, they aren’t a Division 1 team, but they play with the same passion that any other collegiate athlete does.
Updated on 10-2-19