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Tournament turmoil

After an exciting overtime win, Weber State’s hockey team fell to Montana State University 10–1 on Feb. 11 at the Ice Sheet.

Eric Nancollas getting ready to take the puck (WSU Hockey).
Eric Nancollas gets ready to take the puck. Photo credit: WSU Hockey

Neither team made an impact on the scoreboard during the first period until the very end. Although the Bobcats found themselves in the penalty box twice, the Wildcats weren’t able to strike first and capitalize on the advantage.

While Weber State tried to find defensive cracks, the Bobcats found their groove on offense. During the last minute of the first period, Montana State forward Luke Marsh found the back of the net with a close-range goal. Twenty-two seconds later, forward Luke McKay scored again for the Bobcats, making the score 2–0 coming into the second period.

“I thought most of the first period, we played pretty well,” coach Yosh Ryujin said. “Then we gave up those two goals at the end of the period, and we were chasing the game after that.”

Weber State started the second period off hot as forward Osmn Cholak scored a goal less than 30 seconds in. After Cholak’s shot, however, both teams had trouble finding the back of the net for around nine minutes.

Wildcats Kody Goodin and Hunter Tautfest defending the net (WSU Hockey).
Wildcats Kody Goodwin and Hunter Tautfest defend the net. Photo credit: WSU Hockey

With 11 minutes to go in the period, forward Ryan Perius scored for the Bobcats. Shortly after, Montana State forward Orion Herman hit the ice hard and medical personnel were brought on to escort him off the rink.

After the injury, Weber State defenseman Carson Abercrombie was called for a check from behind, sending Montana State into a power play for five minutes. Abercrombie was forced to leave the game after being charged with a game misconduct, making forward Austin Chesworth sit in the box in Abercrombie’s place.

“That was the game,” Ryujin said. “At that point in time, they had all the momentum and we just could not recover.”

The Bobcats took advantage of the opportunity as forward Hazen McKay, defenseman Rhys Phelps and forward Cade Street all scored against the short-handed Wildcats.

The lopsided 6–1 score at the end of the second period grew in the third. Hayden Klem would score the Bobcats’ first goal with 13 minutes to go. Forward Steven Irick, Hazen McKay and forward Ben Carlson followed suit, putting the game out of reach for the Wildcats. Ryujin said the game was “frustrating” and “embarrasing.”

Austin Chesworth lining up for a face off (WSU Hockey).
Austin Chesworth lines up for a face off. Photo credit: WSU Hockey

“We just did not bring our game tonight,” Ryujin said. “When you play a really good team like Montana State, if you don’t bring your best game, you’re going to be on the wrong side of the results.”

One day after, on Feb. 12, the Wildcats fell to the University of Providence 5–1 in their competition for third place at the tournament.

“The team is going to have ups and downs,” Wildcat forward Eric Nancollas said. “It’s how we take it and how we improve upon that that matters.”

Weber State will face off against the Utah State Aggies on Feb. 18 at the Eccles Ice Center.

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Simon Mortensen, Sports Editor

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