Hockey faces national champs

By By Natalie Dicou

By Natalie Dicou

The U hockey club will use a negative cartoon that appeared in The Chronicle Monday as motivation in upcoming games this week against Colorado State University and Weber State University.

Head coach Bob Wilkinson, along with some of his players, were hurt by the cartoon, which implied that it would be better to be tortured than to be a member of the U hockey team.

After a player told Wilkinson about the cartoon at Monday’s practice, the coach said, “It weighed on him.” But instead of letting the cartoon get the team down, he hopes it will spur them to action as the Utes head into another harrowing few matches.

“It’s a little burr in the saddle for us,” Wilkinson said.

Thursday, Utah will go up against the formidable CSU team that won the national championship in the American Collegiate Hockey Association last year.

CSU’s 8-4 record is a bit deceptive, as the Rams have played three Division-I schools and even came away with a victory over Division-I Minot State.

The game begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Park City Ice Arena.

Utah will then face Weber State for the third time this season on Friday. Although the Wildcats disposed of the Utes in both outings, Utah improved significantly from one game to the next. The first defeat was an early season 11-0 rout, but in Utah’s last crack at the Wildcats two weeks ago, the Utes battled a 4-2 loss and even had an early lead.

The Weber State rematch is at the County Rink in Murray and begins at 9:45 p.m.

“We’re learning from our lickings,” Wilkinson said, adding that once the Utes start to beat the teams that are thrashing them-whether it’s this season or in the future-it’ll be that much sweeter.