September 18, 2017
Salt Lake City, UT
The first game of the season for the Utah Skatin’ Utes is in the books and the Utes were able to keep their in-state unbeaten streak alive with a win over Weber State.
It took a while for Utah to find its rhythm after taking four penalties in the first period, including a five-minute major penalty that saw rookie Joseph Hughes get ejected for head contact halfway through the opening period. The Utes were able to kill off all three power plays in the period but couldn’t find the back of the net leading to a scoreless draw after 20 minutes.
The Utes finally found a breakthrough early in the second period as Nick Fornelius scored Utah’s first goal of the season four minutes into the period by tapping the puck in on the back door after a pass from Brett Myer. Rookie Colby Birch also picked up an assist for his first career point at Utah.
The Utes would get three power plays of their own in the second period, but like the Wildcats in the first period they were unable to capitalize on the chances and Utah took a 1-0 lead into the third period. In the third, the Wildcats threw everything they had at the Utah net including three more power play opportunities but the Utes were able to stay strong and picked up the 1-0 win.
Patrick Kasper stopped all 36 shots he faced for his first shutout of the season and his first shutout of his college career. Power plays were a struggle for both teams, as Utah went 0 for 4 and Weber State went 0 for 6.
With the win, the Utes picked up their 9th straight win over the Wildcats and their first shutout ever of their northern rivals in team history. Utah’s unbeaten streak over in-state opponents is now at 23 games as well.
The Utes now return home next weekend to open up their home schedule, taking on the WSHL’s Utah Outliers on Friday in an exhibition game and Utah State on Saturday in Utah’s 2017-18 home opener.