Hockey wraps up weekend with win

(Source: Joe Pfleegor)
Weber State University hockey player Zach Endicott handles the puck in a game against the University of Colorado. The Wildcats beat the Buffaloes Saturday 7-1.

After netting a tie and a loss on Thursday and Friday night, the Weber State University hockey team defeated the Division I University of Colorado Buffaloes 7-1 on Saturday night, breaking its streak of six straight games without a win.

“We had a solid weekend,” said WSU freshman Kody Rodriguez, who had three goals and four assists over the weekend. “Our first game, we came out hard, and we probably could have got the W. The next game against Colorado State, we came out a little flat, but we picked it up. Against CU, we got a big W, and hopefully it can get a streak going.”

The Wildcats faced Division II Denver University on Thursday night. The score at the end of the match was 1-1. The Wildcats scored with five minutes left in the first period as Rodriguez, recently returning from an injury suffered against the University of Utah, found the back of the net.

The lead was short-lived, as just before the end of the first period, DU tied up the score. Neither team’s defense relented for the rest of the game, leaving the score at one all.

The Wildcats then traveled to Fort Collins, Colo., to face Division I Colorado State University. The Rams skated all over the Wildcats in the first period, scoring four goals. The Wildcats had two goals of their own in the second and one in the third period, but the Rams also had four in the second period to keep the game out of reach. All three WSU goals came off of power plays.

The Wildcats bounced back Saturday night with one of their best games of the season. The coaching staff made several changes, including mixing up the lines to see who would work best together.

“After Friday night’s loss to CSU, us coaches got together and decided to make some changes to the lines, and hopefully they were going to gel together, and that’s what happened,” said WSU head coach Joe Pfleegor.

One of the biggest changes was the line that featured Rodriguez, Jeremiah Holmes and Josh Giudice. The line accounted for three goals and six assists against the Buffaloes. The line had never played together before.

“It’s early in the season, and we are experimenting with some lines,” Rodriguez said. “I was playing with Jeremiah Holmes and Josh Giudice, and we seemed to move the puck well. We found the back of the net a couple times. It was a total new experience, and I think it worked out well for us.”

The Wildcats jumped out to a big lead early, scoring three goals in the first period in a span of just more than 10 minutes. Freshman John Miller, junior Anthony Modreck and sophomore Jacob Holmes each had a goal in the first period.

Sophomore Dax Hobbs added the fourth goal for the Wildcats four minutes into the second period. Jeremiah Holmes added two consecutive goals in the final period, one off of a shorthanded goal with just less thab a minute gone by in the third period. The other goal came just two minutes later off of an assist from Giudice and Rodriguez.

After a CU goal late in the period, Rodriguez iced the game with a goal with five minutes left, pushing the score to 7-1.

“Team-wise, I felt like we came together a little bit more,” Jeremiah Holmes said. “Each line is different styles. I had two goals and three assists. I don’t think scoring is the most important, as long as we get the W.”

After a tough first month of the season, the Wildcats find their record at 3-5-1. The Wildcats will once again be on the road this weekend as they face two in-state rival road games. The Wildcats will first travel to Salt Lake City on Friday night to take on the Utes. The Wildcats fell to the Utes 4-1 on Sept. 21.

WSU will then travel to Logan on Saturday night to battle Utah State University, which the Wildcats defeated at home 4-3 in a thrilling overtime season-opener Sept. 13.