Penalties and poor goal tending led to an 8-2 loss for the Wildcat hockey team by the Utes on Friday night.
“We have a lot of games left in the season for us, and we are still seventh in the nation,” said coach Joe Pfleegor. “But this game should be a sign that we have much to do as a team before we can talk about winning.”
The Utes drew first blood when they scored early in the first half during a Utah power play and followed it up with another goal during regular play.
It wasn’t until half way though the first period when the Wildcats got on the board. The first goal was made by freshman center Jonathan Cosman. The score stood at 2-1 throughout most of the first period until Utah scored two goals in rapid succession.
The Wildcats narrowed the gap early in the second period when Cosman made the shot off of an assist from sophomore defender Jake Webber, bringing the score up to 2-4. The respite was short lived when the Utes volleyed back and scored two more goals before the second period ended, putting the Utes up 6-2 at the end of the second.
One of the issues that was present throughout the game was playing time. Several of the Wildcats spent substantial time in the penalty box, placing their team at a disadvantage of being a player short.
“This is a young crew, and they have been having a few issues properly working as a cohesive unit,” Pfleegor said. “One of the results of that is too much time in the penalty box and not enough time playing the game on the ice.”
The Wildcats were not able to get anything started in the third period, but only had their woes compounded when the Utes added two more goals to put them up 8-2, giving them the eventual winning final score.
Despite the loss, the Wildcats had a good offensive performance, making 32 shots on goal while Utah had 34.
“We had a great night shooting, 32-34 so you would expect the score to be 2-3 or something in that neighborhood,” Pfleegor said. “When it is as skewed as it was for us, you know that we need to be doing more to protect our own goal.”
The Wildcats have had a roller coaster start to their hockey season, with more wins than losses. Despite that they remain seventh in their conference. The Wildcats are looking to retain their title this year and continue their pursuit for a championship.
The Wildcats continue their quest for a championship on the road at Utah State this Friday. They will play their last two games of the fall season the first weekend in December, with a home game on Friday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m.
Charles can be found tweeting @cbowkstar_91 or cheering like a fool at all Wildcat sporting events