Hockey wins! Then drops two.

By By Natalie Dicou

By Natalie Dicou

After the U hockey team earned its first notch in the win column of the year on Wednesday–an invaluable boost in morale for the Utes, who have known nothing but the sting of defeat all season–Utah was blown out by Oregon and BYU in two games over the weekend.

The visiting Oregon Ducks dealt the Utes a 14-0 drubbing on Friday, and on Saturday the BYU IceCats showed no less mercy, licking the Utes 10-2.

If it weren’t for 12 Ute penalties that the IceCats used to their favor–BYU scored six times when Utah was shorthanded–the score would have been much more respectable, said hockey club president and player J.M. LeCointre. Mental mistakes cost the Utes dearly as they fell to BYU for the third time this season.

Despite the losses, LeCointre insists that the Utes have experienced “immense improvement” from the team that first suited up to take on Utah State four months ago in its season opener. In terms of playing as a unit, Utah has made huge strides, LeCointre said.

“We saw in the BYU game that we can beat them if we can keep it together the entire game,” he said.

That confidence couldn’t be further from the sentiment expressed following Utah’s collapse to BYU in December, after which some Ute players felt like “giving up,” LeCointre said.

“They definitely didn’t feel like (giving up this time),” LeCointre said.

The team’s improved attitude may be the result of an ultimatum delivered to the players.

“Anyone who was having a demoralizing aspect on us,” LeCointre said, such as “negativity in the locker room and the bench (was told that) they can either change their attitude or get out.”

The Utes will be back on the ice in search of more wins when they go up against UVSC on Friday and BYU on Saturday. Both games are at home.