Utah State’s 5-3 win over rival BYU was enough to earn head coach Jon Eccles a landmark victory.
“I was hoping that it would have been against Utah,” Eccles said with a smile on his face, recalling the Aggies 5-2 against the Utes two weeks ago.
In past seasons the Aggies have dominated BYU in games, often winning by double-digit goals. This game, however, proved to be much more difficult than expected. The Aggies inserted their will for most of the game, but they couldn’t capitalize on a 48-25 shot advantage as well as coach Eccles would have liked.
“Happy for the win, got our first home win,” Eccles said. “But I don’t think they [could] hang with us as well as they did had we played like we’ve played [other opponents].”
Aggie forward Alex Herman, who had two goals on the night, called this game a “gut check,” and said he felt Utah State played just good enough to get the win and that there is certainly room for improvement.
Despite playing down to BYU’s level for the first two periods, Utah State rolled up their sleeves and got to work late in the third period. Four minutes after a game-tying goal by BYU with just over 11 minutes to play, the Aggies put two goals on the board within 20 seconds to go up 4-2. BYU pulled one back less than a minute later but a late goal by Chris Cutshall, who had one goal and two assists on the day, sealed the deal for Utah State.
Alex Herman said third period play is one of the team’s strengths.
“We’ve always been a third period team, even last year,” Herman said. “No matter what happens in the game our best period’s always going to be the third period no matter what game it is.”
The Aggies will play at home next on Friday Nov. 4 against Weber State at 7 p.m. at the George S. Eccles Ice Center.