Utah Opens Division 1 Play
September 28, 2017
After two games against in-state opponents, the University of Utah Skatin’ Utes first real test comes this weekend as the team hits the road for their first Division I games of the season.
The Utes are in Colorado for three games this week – taking on Eastern Michigan, #12 Colorado, and #16 Colorado State.
The Utes open up the weekend on Thursday against the Eastern Michigan Eagles, marking the first ever meeting between these two teams in Boulder. Like the Utes, the Eagles are off to a 2-0 start to the season after beating Rochester College 4-2 and 5-3 last weekend. They’re working on improving form last season, where they finished with a 3-28-1-1 record and finished ranked 49th out of the 59 teams in Division last season. With two wins already over Rochester – who finished 21st in the country last season – the team seems to be heading in the right direction heading into their matchup with the Utes.
On Friday, the Utes will stay in Boulder as they take on Colorado for the first time since 2012 and the first time as Division I opponents. The Buffaloes finished 13th in the nation in the final rankings last season, losing to Iowa State in the round of 16 at Nationals. The Buffaloes finished with an 18-16-2-1 record last season and opened up their schedule with a pair of wins against new D1 team UNLV in Las Vegas last weekend (3-0 and 3-2). They’ll look to go to 3-0 against the Utes on Friday, which is the team’s home opener for the season.
On Saturday, the Utes will head an hour north to Fort Collins for a rematch with Colorado State. The Rams were the final team in the field at Nationals last season and spoiled the Utes chance of making the postseason last year after sweeping Utah in Salt Lake City at the end of last season. The Rams are also 2-0 to start their season after heading out east to pick up 7-3 and 3-2 wins over Rutgers last weekend.
All four teams in this Colorado showcase are undefeated as the Utes are 2-0 as well after beating Utah State and Weber State over the last two weeks. They’ll be looking for their first Division I wins of the season this weekend and will look to win their D1 opener for the first time in program history.
Thursday night’s game against Eastern Michigan is in Boulder, CO at the CU Student Rec Center at 8pm MT. Friday’s game against Colorado will also be in Boulder at 7:30pm MT and Saturday’s weekend finale against Colorado State will be at the Edora Pool Ice Center (EPIC) in Fort Collins at 7:45pm MT. Keep an eye on the Utah Hockey Facebook page for updates on whether the games will be streamed or not.