For the last time this season, the Weber State University hockey team took the ice at the Ice Sheet and defeated the Utah State Aggies 3–2.
Before the game, though, all eyes were on the three team members being honored for senior night: forward Kennedy Gorges from Kelowna, British Colombia, Canada, Dakota Fox, forward from Ogden, Utah and defensemen Kyle Waronker from Scottsdale, Arizona.
“Before the game, I was kind of doing my checklist,” Fox said. “Last time I’m going to warmup at home, and last time I’m going to get on the ice at home with the boys.”
Weber State got things going quickly when Jakob Besnilian deflected Jeremy Regeon’s shot past the Utah State net-minder for an early 1–0 lead.
Waronker found the back of the net just a few seconds later, stretching the ’Cats lead to 2–0.
“It was a huge honor to be recognized on senior night,” Waronker said. “It was even better just to get a goal; I don’t really score too many goals, but it was special for my senior night.”
The Aggies answered with a goal of their own just seconds later, and the ’Cats and Aggies entered the first break with a 2–1 score.
As the teams entered the ice for the second period, the split crowd erupted in Aggies and “Let’s go, Weber” cheers.
Both teams skated aggressively back and forth, and after a hard hit with 11:32 left to play in the second period, both teams exchanged pushing, punching and face washing extracurriculars. As the referees separated the mess, it was standing room only in each teams’ sin bins.
The Wildcats’ Joel Johnson broke the scoreless frame by rebounding a shot from William Fobair into the back of the net, and the ‘Cats hit the ice for a 3–1 lead headed into the third and final period.
Utah State was able to sneak one last shot past goaltender Kyle Lane, but Lane kept the Aggies to just two goals and celebrated in front of the packed student section when the clock struck zero.
“It’s a good win for our seniors,” Lane said. “It’s a hard fought team win. It was a little scary at the end with the penalties, but we pulled out for them.”
The next night, Weber State traveled north to Logan for the Aggies senior night. Weber State again struck early and spoiled the senior night, leaving Logan with another victory under their belts.
“They are a great group of kids,” Head Coach AJ Kapinos said on the seniors. “They have been really important to our team, whether that’s being the captain or with their on ice leadership.”
Weber State’s season hasn’t ended yet. The Wildcats head up to Boise, Idaho, Feb. 27-29 for the regional tournament. Weber State enters the tournament as the sixth seed and will take on the seventh seed Dakota College the night of Feb. 28.