November 19, 2015
The University of Utah Skatin’ Utes will look to keep their unbeaten streak alive against the best the ACHA West Division has to offer this weekend as they head to the Beehive Showcase. Eight of the top nine teams in the first ACHA West Rankings are participating in this year’s event, making it the most elite showcase in the West this season.
This is the sixth time that the Utes have played in this four-game tournament hosted by Utah State and Weber State, and the team has posted a 9-8 record over the previous five years going 2-2 the last two years.
The tournament runs Thursday through Sunday in both Ogden and Logan, and here’s how Utah’s opponents shape up against the Utes.
THURSDAY: vs #6 ASU Maroon in Ogden (2:15pm MT)
Utah’s first game of the showcase will pit the two remaining undefeated teams in the ACHA West Division as both Utah and ASU Maroon are the only remaining teams without a loss. Formerly known as the PAC-8 squad, the second ASU team at the D2 level has jumped conferences switching from the PAC-8 to the WCHC where most of the California teams compete. Utah is 1-2 all-time against this version of the Sun Devils.
ASU is 10-0-2 on the season with two wins over top ten opponents this year (Weber State and Boise State). Jake Savona leads the team in scoring with 24 points on the season, with Mason Teuber behind him with 19 points. In goal for ASU is Ryan Seltenreich, who played for the ASU Elite squad last season and had two shutouts against the Utes last season.
FRIDAY: vs #9 Northern Arizona in Ogden (3:30pm MT)
The Utes have already seen the Icejacks twice in Salt Lake City, as they picked up a win and a draw against the ninth-ranked team in the West. Since the two teams last met, NAU is 3-1 which includes home wins over Colorado State’s D1 program and #1 ASU Elite. NAU Is 5-9-1 on the season after it took until the end of October for the team to pick up their first D2 win of the season (started 0-6-1 vs D2 opponents this year).
Lucas Lomax leads the team in scoring with 16 points on the season with Kirby Carlson in second with 14 points. In goal has been Seth Kollman, who was in net for both games against Utah earlier this season.
SATURDAY: vs #5 Boise State in Ogden (3:30pm MT)
Saturday’s contest will mark the first of three meeting between the Utes and Broncos this season. Utah went 2-1-1 against BSU last season. The Broncos are 10-4 this season but have yet to beat a top ten opponent this season (0-4), with their best win coming in a 6-3 win over #12 Cal State Northridge earlier this season.
This year’s team looks almost exactly the same as last year’s one that made it to Nationals, with Justin Videen leading the team once again with 25 points this season. Also with 25 points is his line mate Taylor Crawford and fellow line mate Matt Sanford is one point behind them with 24 points. Josh Benton Is in goal again for the Broncos, who has a 2.77 GAA and .892 save percentage.
SUNDAY: vs #1 ASU Elite in Ogden (9:30am MT)
The showcase’s premier game of the weekend takes place bright and early Sunday morning as #1 ASU Elite takes on #2 Utah. This will be the first and only meeting between these top two teams, which will have a big impact on who will be the top team in the west this season. Utah went 0-3 against ASU last season which included a 4-3 loss in the showcase last year. ASU once again is the team to beat this year, posting an 11-3-1 record and only one loss against West opponents this year (a 5-4 OT loss to #9 NAU two weeks ago).
Ryan McNeely leads the team in points with 26 this year, with Wilson Housely behind him in second with 22 points. Lucas Felbel has seen the most time in net for the Sun Devils this year, playing in eight games with a 2.46 GAA and .912 save percentage.
UTAH GAME NOTES
THE UTES KEEP ROLLING
The Utes are just one of two teams in the West and six teams in the entire country that have yet to take a loss so far this season. The Utes are 15-0-2 on the season, which is a new team record for the best start to the season and longest unbeaten streak in a season.
STAYING AHEAD OF THE PACK
As the wins continue to pile up for Utah, their streak of not trailing has been climbing up as well. The Utes haven’t trailed in a game since the first period of the season opener at UNLV. The 888-minute streak spans almost 15 full games and will eclipse 900 minutes if the Utes can lead or remain tied after the first period against ASU Maroon on Thursday. The streak has the potential to hit quadruple digits if the team does well this weekend.
THE ROOKIE LEADS THE WAY
Rookies at Utah have always done well, with Chase McDonald and Josh Dangel recently having great rookie seasons to name a few. You can add another rookie to that list as Brett Myer currently leads the team in points with 33 this season. His 15 goals and 18 assists this season has put him tied for 13th in the nation in scoring, 22nd in the nation in goals, and tied for 13th in the nation in assists. The Utes will look to him to keep his hot streak alive this weekend.
GETTING IT DONE DEFENSIVELY
Most of the accolades that the Utes have received this season can be traced back to the performance of the defense so far this season. The Utes allow a sparkling 1.67 goals per game with all of Utah’s goaltenders being ranked among the nation’s elite. Both Chris Komma and Devan Betts are 6-0-1 this season with Komma being ranked 7th in the nation with a 1.57 GAA and Betts ranked 11th with a 1.71 GAA. Rookie Jared Manzella is also 1-0 with a 2.00 GAA in his one start this season.