By Hector Valencia
The Weber State University hockey club team won in overtime, 4-3, in its season-opener against in-state rival Utah State University on Friday night. The game was the first game of the season for the Wildcats.
USU was ranked first in the West Coast Region last year, losing in the semifinals of the American Collegiate Hockey Association Division II National Championships. The Wildcats fell in all five games against the Aggies last season.
The Wildcats started the scoring early in the game. Three minutes in, senior Robby Knott scored the first goal of the game. However, the Aggies tied the game three minutes later, 1-1.
“It was an intense first period,” said WSU assistant coach Clay Hobbs. “We played a solid first period of the game.”
In the second period, the Aggies scored their second goal to take the lead within three minutes of starting the period. Four minutes later, the Aggies scored another goal to put the Wildcats two goals up, 3-1.
“The Aggies became aggressive in the second period,” Hobbs said. “They had an opportunity to take the lead of the game, and they took it. We cannot give up opportunities like this anymore in games.”
With five minutes left, sophomore Jeramiah Holmes scored the second goal for the Wildcats, cutting the lead to a one-goal difference, 3-2.
“Although we missed a couple of shots in the second period, the boys did a good job of maintaining control of the puck and pretty good defense and not letting (USU) score more goals,” Hobbs said.
Two minutes later, Holmes left the game after an Aggie player hit him hard against the glass, leaving him unconscious on the ice.
“Hopefully, he will get better soon,” Hobbs said. “We need him.”
The third period started scoreless as both teams were maintaining possession of the puck and protecting their nets. With 11 seconds left before the third period ended, sophomore Dax Hobbs scored the third goal for the Wildcats to send the game to overtime.
“The Wildcats did a good job in defense in this period,” Coach Hobbs said. “This was a great comeback. The team pushed to the limit and tied the game.”
Fourteen seconds after the overtime started, sophomore Jacob Holmes scored a goal to end the game and give the Wildcats the victory.
Team captain Braxton Green said it was a team effort to get the victory.
“A full 60 minutes was given by the team,” Green said. “We never gave up as a team. We were down, but we found a way to win the game.”
Senior Josh Giudice said he was speechless about the win for the program and school.
“Family can achieve anything,” Giudice said. “We fought very hard, and we came up with the win. What I loved about this game was that we all played together. It was a team effort and a team unity.”
The Wildcats played against Brigham Young University on Saturday. Coverage of that game will appear in the Wednesday issue of The Signpost and on The Signpost website.