PREVIEW: #2 Utah @ #3 Utah St
December 3, 2015
Salt Lake City, UT
The first semester of the season is quickly coming to an end with only three games remaining for the University of Utah Skatin’ Utes before the team takes off for the Christmas break. The first of those three happens tonight as the Utes head north to Logan for their biggest game left on the schedule against the Utah State Aggies.
The Aggies are 11-6-2 on the season and are currently ranked third in the ACHA West Division, just one spot behind the Utes. The Utes and Aggies have met once before this season, with the teams skating to a 2-2 draw in Salt Lake City at the beginning of the season. Utah State is coming off a 3-1 weekend in the Beehive Showcase two weeks ago, beating #4 Northern Arizona, #5 ASU Maroon, and #7 Montana Tech while losing to #1 ASU Elite.
Cooper Limb leads in scoring for Utah State with 35 points, followed closely by Rylee Orr with 34 points. Limb is currently 17th in the nation in points while Orr is 24th. The Utes will most likely see Austin Willenborg again in net for Utah State with the tender sporting a 4.09 GAA and .901 save percentage. Willenborg had 42 saves on 44 shots the last time he played against Utah this season.
As for the Utes, the second-ranked team in the West comes into Thursday’s game with a 17-2-2 record and is coming off a 2-2 record in the Beehive Showcase two weeks ago. Thursday’s game against Utah State is the their highest ranked game left on the Utes’ schedule, with #10 UNLV being the highest ranked team Utah will play after this weekend (who the Utes will play at home next week).
Thursday’s game in Logan will take place at 7:30pm at the Eccles Ice Center.
UTAH GAME NOTES
Brett Myer has continued to remain on top of the stat sheet for Utah this season in his first season in the ACHA. Myer has 36 points in 19 games this season, which is 12 points ahead of anyone on the team and is good enough for 15th in the nation in scoring.
STILL STRONG DEFENSIVELY
Despite suffering their first losses of the season in the Beehive Showcase, the Utes are continuing to get it done defensively this season. The team as a whole still averages 1.84 goals allowed per game this season, and most of that is thanks to Utah’s solid goaltending this year. Devan Betts has a 1.75 GAA this season, which is good enough for 11th in the country, while Chris Komma has a 1.90 GAA which is good enough for 16th in the nation.
IRONMAN AWARD DOWN TO SIX
The annual Mark Weiss Iron Man Award is given to the Utah Hockey player that plays in the most games in the season when it comes to a close in March. With numerous injuries happening across the board for the Utes already this season, the race for this year’s award is now down to six players. Brett Myer, Dean Wilson, Nick Fornelius, Julian Cronan, Tyler Pendill, and Eric Gausseres lead the race, playing in all 19 games so far for Utah. Only Fornelius has won the award before, winning it last season for playing in 43 games.