October 23, 2023
Salt Lake City, Utah
The M2 team was coming off of a very long and successful weekend, playing four games in four days in Northern California against San Jose State and the University of California-Berkeley. The Utes won their first 3 games but their legs finally caught up to them in the final game where they understandably took a loss. Garrett Jackson, Donovan O’Shea, and Ezekial Endy all potted a handful of goals and assists, building on their already stellar campaigns.
Feeling good about their trip to Norcal the M2 squad had high spirits and was ready to dominate yet another California-based team, but this time in their own barn. Compared to the Utes the University of California-San Diego Tritons are no match on the ice, and this quickly became apparent after puck drop on Friday night.
Early on, Maxwell Hove tracked the puck on the doorstep and slid it past the netminder for an easy tally. Towards the end of the 1st a nifty Keegan Torrey dish pass from below the goal-line gave Garrett Jackson an easy tuck, his 7th of the season. Unable to thwart the buzzing Utah offense, San Diego resorted to physicality, but the Utes held their own and battled hard throughout. Jack Furlong and Luke Ossola each potted great shots early in the 2nd, putting Utah up 4-0. With mounting frustration a large scrum followed a play about halfway through the period, resulting in 28 total penalty minutes given at the same second. This chaos put the Utes down a man but not even the excessive trips to the sin bin could deter their efforts. A over-worked Triton line change allowed for Hayden Tomechak to spring Hove on a breakaway up the middle, Hove finished on the backhand and made sure to celebrate.
The rest of the game was marked by physical play by San Diego but they did get a goal at the end of the 2nd. In the 3rd period Braxton Porter and Torrey each finished on their chances to put the final score at 7-1. Utah’s Adam Rousselo was idle in net for most of the night, facing a lousy 9 total shots from the Tritons, but a win is a win and he will gladly take it. The game had a total of 91 penalty minutes and Utah put up 55 shots, leaving San Diego with virtually no hope of ever competing.
Utah domination did not end on Friday, instead it only intensified heading into Saturday’s match. Though it was obvious that Friday’s antics had wore on San Diego, they maintained their hostile play and mucked it up with the M2 team for another 60 minutes. Unfazed by this the Utes got off to an even hotter start thanks to a great deflection and goal by Benjamin Wiener and a tuck by Endy (the first point of his eventual 5 points). Torrey and Endy each buried a Power Play goal to sign off on the 1st frame.
Heading into the 2nd period up 4-1, Utah struck again on the Power Play, this time Wiener finished after a beautiful cross-ice pass from Endy. With 12 seconds left in the period and 2 men-down, the Endy-Wiener connection struck once more, as Wiener topped off the hat-trick with a breakaway, sliding the puck 5-hole on the forehand. A 5 on 3 goal for the hatty, not bad at all.
M2 piled on in the third, taking turns extending their 7-2 lead. Wiener and Torrey scored again and Zachary Olszewski, Maximilian Fenne, and Liam Meffert also joined in on the fun. The final was a 12-3 Utah Utes win.
Utah’s special teams stepped up (4 PPG & 1 SHG) and capitalized on their many opportunities and the Utes never once stood down to a very aggressive Triton team. M2 showed fight and got the offense going as they elevated their record to 7-5, a long way from the 2-4 record of a mere two weeks prior. The M2 squad is on a roll after thumping 3 different California teams in 2 weeks, and they will strut into Washington with confidence and minds set on winning.
M2 will face the University of Washington next weekend, a team which is sporting a flawless 7-0 record at the moment. The Utes will look to hand them their first losses of the season in a pair of games that will surely not disappoint.