It was a miracle on ice for the Weber State University hockey team on Saturday, as the Wildcats rallied from a two-goal deficit to come away with the 6-5 win on Senior Night.
“I just knew coming off our big win yesterday that we had to come out hard,” said defender Jesse Love. “It was me and the other seniors last game and last night’s three good periods brought a lot of momentum to the game.”
In the final home game for seniors Jesse Love, Phill Jennrich and Curtis Snowball, the team was hungry for the win and got off to a hot start. The Wildcats took the lead early in the game, as senior Phill Jennrich found the back of the net four minutes into the first period.
Following a Utah State goal, the Wildcats took the lead again on a score from junior Landon Aylor. The Aggies tied the game again, but sophomore Alex Pizarro scored a goal with five seconds left to give Weber State a 3-2 lead at the end of the first period.
The second period saw the Wildcats begin to struggle as USU jumped ahead 4-3 off two quick goals for their first lead of the game.
“We weren’t getting the bounces,” said senior Jesse Love. “We were playing a good game but we were having a few mental lapses.”
Those mental lapses saw Weber State spend over 10 minutes in the penalty box, which Utah State took advantage of.
“We kinda got away from what made us successful,” said head coach Clay Hobbs. “Our forechecking was lacking and we weren’t getting into the net.”
Utah State scored a goal on a power play to kick off the third period, but the Wildcats worked their way back to tie the game by the end of the period.
“We just had to keep working,” Jennrich said. “We’re resilient, we work hard and everyone really wanted that win.”
Two minutes into overtime, the Wildcats completed their comeback on a penalty shot from Jennrich. As the Weber State fans were chanting his name, Jennrich charged down the ice and made a slap shot goal that ended the game 6-5.
“It was unreal to have everyone chant your name,” Jennrich said.”I couldn’t screw up, to end my career with a penalty shot in sudden death overtime on the last game of the season with it also being our Senior night, it was just unreal.”
The Wildcats will now prepare for the regional playoffs, and Hobbs feels Weber State will be a tough match for any of their opponents.
“I think wherever we fit in regional, no team is gonna want to play us,” Hobbs said. “This team has a lot of potential, a lot of skilled players and when we’re on our game we’re tough to beat.”