Hockey team on the rise, ties Weber State

By By Natalie Dicou

By Natalie Dicou

The arduous hockey season is nearly over, and the Utes–who’ve suffered through some pretty heinous blowouts–appear to be finishing the year on a high note.

Utah played host to Weber State on Friday. Tied at six at the end of regulation, a five-minute sudden-death overtime followed. Neither team could put the puck past the opposing goalkeeper, and the Utes escaped with a 6-6 tie.

“I was kind of pissed; we should have won,” captain Charles German said. “(The refs) called back a goal that went in the third period.”

German still doesn’t know why the goal was called back and had harsh words for the officiating crew, condemning it as “horrible.”

Despite the loss, the Utes won a moral victory, considering that they were demolished 11-0 by the Wildcats earlier this season.

“They’re getting higher belief in themselves as a team,” Ute head coach Bob Wilkinson said. “I think the team is really beginning to gel and come together.”

But Utah won’t be able to show off its newfound teamwork for very long.

“(We’re) finally coming together as the season is ending,” Wilkinson said.

Three games remain on Utah’s schedule, two of which will be against BYU. The season finale against Utah State on March 2 will be Utah’s most harrowing challenge.

Wilkinson considers the Aggies to be the strongest college hockey club in the state. The Utes made their season debut against the Aggies and lost by a discouraging 20 goals.

On Saturday, the Utes faced I-15 rival UVSC for the third-straight weekend. Last week, the Wolverines bested the Utes in an overtime thriller in which UVSC won 6-5.

Utah got another crack at the Wolverines on Saturday, but didn’t fare as well as they lost 11-4.

“I don’t even want to talk about that game,” German said.

After playing Weber State in a contest that didn’t conclude until past midnight, some Utah players were fatigued going into Saturday night’s UVSC game, German said.

“I was struggling in the third period,” he said.

The Utes’ attitude, as well as their reality, has changed in the past month.

“(Now, we’re actually) making it a game for UVSC,” Wilkinson said.

The Utes will travel south to challenge the BYU IceCats in Provo on Friday.