The Utah State hockey team cruised to a 2-0 weekend with a 16-2 win over hapless Utah Valley University at home and a 9-3 win over BYU on the road.
Utah State, who is ranked third in the West Region in the latest ACHA Division 2 rankings released Nov. 8, didn’t let UVU breath, constantly keeping possession of the puck. Some stretches of possession for the Aggies were so long it felt like a power play.
“If you can control the puck,” said head coach Jon Eccles, “then you break them down and there’s always someone gonna be open. And tonight it started working really well for us.”
Utah Valley (1-7-0) came out hard in the first period, putting pressure on the Aggies in an attempt to force turnovers in Utah State’s defensive zone. But the tables were turned on UVU and they were the ones losing the puck in their own territory, one of them became the first goal of the game.
The game was more of a clinic on offensive dominance sponsored by the Aggies. In total, 11 different Aggies found the back of the net. The 16 total goals were the most scored by the Aggies since a 20-0 victory over BYU on Feb. 10, 2012.
Friday’s contest was the second time the Aggies have faced off against the Wolverines this year. The last time was in the second game of the season for Utah State, which they won 14-1. This season is the first since 2012-13 where the Aggies have had multiple games of 14 or more goals.
The Aggies are 6-1 at home this season and have outscored opponents by 31 goals in those seven games.
Saturday, Utah State faced off against BYU. Historically inferior on the rink, the Cougars have made games interesting in recent years. In their last three matchups against the Aggies, BYU has only been outscored by four goals and stole a game in Provo last year.
In Saturday’s contest, Utah State didn’t allow BYU the chance to make it close, opening a 4-0 lead after the first period and a 7-1 lead after two periods.
Morgan McJimsey had a two assists Friday to go along with a hat trick. He scored two more goals and had one assist against BYU. McJimsey currently leads USU with 32 points and is the team leader in goals with 14.
“I got to play with Morgan,” said assistant coach and former USU hockey player Shaun Gibbons. “He’s just a big offensive threat. He’s a big kid, a big body. He can score, he can hit, he’s pretty much an all-around player defensively and offensively.”
The two wins over the weekend put the Aggies at 13-4-0 on the year and are tied with Northern Colorado (13-1-0) and Texas A&M (13-4-0) for most wins in the West Region in ACHA Division 2.
“The team is doing well,” Eccles said. “We just want them to build on each game to get to that end goal to win a national championship.”