September 25, 2017
Salt Lake City, UT
After picking up a season-opening win against Weber State last weekend, the Utah Skatin’ Utes picked up another win this weekend against Utah State in their home opener on Saturday.
In a back and forth affair, the game saw the lead change four times as the Utes picked up the 5-4 win. The Aggies were able to find the back of the net first in the opening period, as Frank Flight scored on a rebound with just under three minutes left to give Utah State a 1-0 lead.
The Aggies would hold on to that lead into the second period, until David Barnes scored on a seeing eye shot from the top of the slot to tie the game at 1-1. The stalemate didn’t last long however, as Flight would score again on a 2 on 1 play to give Utah State their one goal lead back. It would stay 2-1 until the final minutes of the second period, where the Utes found some life.
With two minutes left, Alex King found the rebound off his own shot and found a way past Utah State goaltender Austin Willenborg to tie the game at 2-2. Just 30 seconds later the Utes found the net once again, this time on a tic tac toe play as Colby Birch found Brett Myer who found Jack Suel wide open in front of the net to give the Utes their first lead of the night. As the horn sounded for the end of the second period, the Utes held a 3-2 lead.
But that lead would be short lived for the Utes as Greg Houle scored two minutes into the third period to tie the game at 3-3. Three minutes later, the Aggies would take control of the game again, as Gavin Lubin scored off a turnover in Utah’s own end to give the Aggies their third lead of the night at 4-3.
With about seven minutes left in the game, the Aggies had trouble staying out of the penalty box which gave the Utes a great opportunity to tie the game on a 5 on 3 power play. Connor Meaney was able to capitalize on the chance, finding a loose puck in the slot and scoring to tie the game at 4-4.
It was just minutes later where Utah was bit by the penalty bug, as they went down a player with five minutes to go. Instead of killing the time to get back to full strength, the Utes found a scoring opportunity early on in the penalty kill as Brett Myer was able to side step a couple of defenders and beat Willenborg through his legs to give the Utes a shorthanded goal and the 5-4 lead. Myer’s goal would be the last of the game as the Aggies took several penalties down the stretch, allowing Utah to run down the clock and pick up the 5-4 win.
The Utes outshot the Aggies 44-42 in the game as the Utes were tested by a Division II opponent for the second week in a row. With the win, the Utes have now won eight in a row over their rivals from Logan and have extended their unbeaten streak against in-state opponents to 24 games.
Up next, the Utes head out on the road for their first Division I weekend of the season as they’ll take on Eastern Michigan, Colorado, and Colorado State next Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.