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The Weber State University hockey team lost its home-opener game against Utah State University 3-1 on Friday night.
The Aggies started the game out strong, scoring an early goal in the first period of the game.
Braxton Green, WSU team captain, said the Aggies got off to a strong start, but that he felt WSU played well overall during the first half of the game.
“It was a tough first half, but we played a solid first half as a team,” Green said.
Freshman goalie Ian Frank allowed two goals in the game. It was his first game on the team. Frank said, despite the loss, he feels the team will bounce back.
“I feel like we played well, but we did not get the win,” Frank said. “But we will keep improving as we go, and we will have a good season.”
The Aggies scored another goal five minutes after the second half started to increase their points on the scoreboard.
Green said the team had a few good chances, but was unable to find the net in the second period.
“We had a couple of good shots in the game,” Green said. “But we could not score in the second period.”
Two minutes before the second period ended, USU’s Cooper Limb hit the WSU goalie, and it escalated into a fight with a Wildcat player. Both teams received penalties.
“You can hit any members of the team,” Frank said. “But when it comes to hitting your goalie, it means fight.”
The Wildcats ended the second period without scoring any goals and a couple of penalties hurting them.
“We took a lot of penalties, which hurt us a lot during the game,” Green said.
During the third period, the Wildcats had a lot of shots and opportunities to score, but it was not until seven minutes after the period that junior Robby Knott scored the only goal for the Wildcats.
“It was a great game,” Knott said. “We played hard and physical, but we just did not get the bounces.”
He said the team is getting better at each shift.
For the last five minutes of the game, Head Coach Joe Pfleegor decided to take out the goalie to put one more offensive player in the game.
“It was a good decision by our coach, because we were down by one,” Frank said. “So might as well; we had to take a risk for the team.”
However, a USU player recovered the puck two minutes before the game ended and scored a goal for his team.
“The team played well for our first game together as a team,” Frank said. “I see a better team this year. We have been working really hard in practice, and we saw tonight that all of our hard work, it paid off. I’m very proud of my team.”
Frank said it was his first game, and he loved it. It was a great-paced, hard-fought game and the crowd being loud was awesome, he said.
“It was a great home opener,” Knott said. “Thanks for everyone coming out and supporting your ‘Cats.”
Green also said he wanted to thank all the fans who came out.
“This is going to be a good year for us, and the support from the fans is awesome.”