October 30, 2015
Salt Lake City, Utah
The University of Utah Skatin’ Utes hit the road for just the third time this season this weekend as they head down to Provo on Friday for the final meeting of the season between the Utes and BYU.
The Utes and Cougars have already met once this season, with the Utes holding serve at home with a 10-1 victory on September 25th. It’s been a dominating couple of years for Utah over their southern rivals, with the Utes looking for their 24th straight win over the Cougars on Friday. Since the 2006-2007 season when the Utes club team reformed, Utah currently leads the all-time series 29-19 in a rivalry that has been dominated by win streaks (BYU won the first 17 games of the rivalry).
A win over BYU would not only push Utah’s current win streak over BYU to 24 games, but it would also break the team’s record for the best start to a season in club history. In the 2013-2014 season, the Utes started their season unbeaten through their first 11 games, posting an 11-0 record. At 9-0-2 so far this season, a win over the Cougars would mark win number ten this year and their 12th straight game without a loss (which is already a club record for most games in a row unbeaten in a season).
While the Utes will look to continue their hot start to the season this weekend, the Cougars will be looking to turn the tide on their’s after a 0-8 start. The team now currently sits at 2-8 after picking up 12-1 and 5-3 wins over Idaho (0-4) last weekend at home and hopes that the momentum from those two victories will translate into success against Utah on Friday. They’ll also have the memory of what happened the last time the two teams met in Provo to help them, where the Cougars took #3 Utah to the wire at home before Michael Ahern’s overtime goal kept Utah’s win streak over BYU alive.
The Utes are coming off a tie and a win over Northern Arizona at home last weekend and will now look to build momentum of their own before the Beehive Showcase takes place in just a couple of weeks. There’s a three-way tie for the points lead on the team as Shaymus Bertagnolli, Michael Ahern, and Kurtis Kunz all have ten points this season. Chase McDonald and Josh Dangel are right behind the trio with nine points each on the season and Brett Myer is just behind them and leads all the rookies with eight points.
While the team may not be putting up the stats of the past (Chase McDonald led the team with 17 points at this point of the season last year), the defense has been absolutely superb for the Utes. Utah has given up just 16 goals in nine games played (1.78 goals per game average) and haven’t given up more than three goals in a game this year. In addition, the team hasn’t trailed in a game since the first period of their season opener against UNLV, going over 500 minutes and almost nine full games without playing from behind.
Friday night’s game in Provo will take place at the Peaks Ice Arena at 7pm.