It was a thriller at the Beehive Showcase as Utah State came back to defeat third-ranked Northern Colorado 4-3 in overtime Thursday evening.
Before one minute had passed in overtime, Austin Moser and Frank Flight broke free for a two-on-one fast break, with Moser feeding Flight for the game-winning goal.
Flight, who was playing in his first game after being out with a concussion, was at a loss for words following the game.
“I’m a little bit speechless and humble at the same time,” Flight said. “Sometimes words can’t describe what you feel after the game when you win games like that.”
USU made a last-ditch effort with 2:46 left to play, pulling their goalkeeper to gain a man advantage. The Bears nearly chipped in a goal from across the ice, but it skidded inches wide of the post. The risk paid off as Kerkvliet scored his second goal of the game with just 40 seconds left to go in the game to send it to overtime.
“It was a character win,” Eccles said. “I was just happy with the boys not giving up and taking that third period and just running with it and putting all the pressure on.”
The Aggies struggled out of the gate, allowing the Bears to build a 2-0 lead through the first 28 minutes of the game. It wasn’t until Josh Kerkvliet’s score on a one-on-goalkeeper in the middle of the second period did USU put themselves on the board.
It was a testament to the will of Utah State that they pulled through against such a tough opponent. In a game where they weren’t as successful on offense as they have been in past games, the Aggies didn’t abandon their identity on offense. They kept playing as a team, making the extra pass and looking for the best opportunity to score.
“That’s what we’ve been preaching the whole time,” Eccles said of Utah State’s teamwork. “Be a team, work together don’t take it all upon yourself. It’s not you as an individual out there, it’s five guys working together and when they do that, you can see, how good we played.”
The Aggies have three more tough games ahead of them in the Showcase over the weekend. They play eleventh-ranked Arizona State Friday at 7 p.m. Last year at the Showcase, Utah State tied with the Sun Devils 2-2.