In the wise words of USU hockey coach Jon Eccles, if you don’t shoot you won’t score goals.
Utah State did manage to get a pair of goals in their 5-2 loss to the University of Utah Saturday, but having only 11 shots in the first two periods, compared to 34 for the Utes, doomed the Aggies.
The defeat was the first in five games for Utah State and the second against Utah this year. The last loss for Utah State came on Sept. 30 when they were on the road against Northern Arizona.
The University of Utah jumped on Utah State from the very start, scoring a power play goal three and a half minutes into the match. Two more first-period goals would see the Aggies down three goals going into the first intermission. Utah State never recovered from the deficit.
One positive coming away from the game for Utah State was they didn’t lie down at that point. After the first three goals, the Utes and Aggies were even the rest of the way with two goals apiece. Assistant coach Joe Pfleegor noted the Aggies didn’t have a choice.
“It’s called urgency,” Pfleegor said. “When you dig yourself a hole like that, you go down by three goals. You don’t have a choice but to come out like we did in the second and third period. But against a team like that, you can’t start a game like that.”
Both Pfleegor and Eccles agreed Utah State made too many mistakes. The Aggies struggled all night moving the puck around and controlling it. And when they did control the puck penalties would take away the momentum that Utah State had built.
With this loss, the Aggies are now 0-2 at home. There is an air of frustration after this game because in both home games Utah State has played below their potential according to the coaches. Lack of discipline, execution and effort has hurt the Aggies at home while their play away from Logan has been stellar.
A 13-day break awaits Utah State. They will not play again until they host BYU at the George S. Eccles Ice Center on Oct. 28 at 7 p.m.