After seven months of waiting, the Wildcats got back on the ice Sept. 14 but proved a little rusty, falling 4–3 to Utah State to begin their 2018-19 season.
The game was a hard-fought battle for WSU, who fell behind 3–0 in the first period before they rallied to tie the contest with 15 minutes remaining. The Aggies ultimately scored the game-winner with 5:17 to play.
Wildcats head coach A.J. Kapinos said he enjoyed seeing his squad compete.
“It’s exciting, it’s fun,” Kapinos said. “We had a long offseason, and we practiced really hard in training camp. It was good to finally get on the ice.”
The main seating bowl was nearly full, and Weber State sophomore goalie Ryan appreciated the fan support.
“I think our fans did a great job of keeping us fired up,” Scheide said. “They got loud whenever we scored a goal or made a big hit.”
Scheide was busy throughout the evening, collecting 30 saves in 34 attempts.
“All of my intensity honestly feeds off the boys,” Scheide said. “Whenever they’re going, I’m going, and it just fires me up even more.”
After spotting Utah State a 3–0 lead in the opening stanza, the Wildcats secured goals from seniors William Fobair and Jonathan Cosman to cut the deficit to 3–2 with 20 minutes remaining. Fellow senior Troy Quarnberg then delivered a clutch game-tying score just over two minutes into the final period.
“It’s always fun to start (the season) up against Utah State,” Quarnberg said. “You know it’s going to be a great game, and everyone is going to be into it.”
There were several skirmishes during the contest, including one early in the third period, which led to the ejection of Aggies head coach C.J. Westlake.
“It’s always good to get into a little scruff with someone who is an in-state rival,” Quarnberg said. “It builds momentum and gets your heart going.”
The Wildcats fought until the final buzzer sounded, when a potential game-tying goal was snuffed out by USU goalie Colter Pritchard.
“From our vantage point on the far side bench, a lot of things look in,” Kapinos said. “All of the guys on our team told us it was right on the line, and their goalie pulled it out right at the last second.”
Scheide said he is not overly concerned about the season-opening defeat.
“It’s the first of many,” Scheide said. “This being a close loss and a hard battle, we’re not too upset about it. We know we hurt ourselves in the first quarter with penalties, but after that the game was ours for the most part.”
The ‘Cats will be back on the ice on Sept. 21 and 22 when Utah Valley and Brigham Young University visit for a 7:30 p.m. puck drop.