Ending an 11-game team losing streak to the University of Utah is at the forefront of USU hockey’s priorities this weekend.
The Aggies (16-4-1) will play a home-and-home series against the University of Utah (5-13-0) Friday and Saturday, with Utah State playing their home leg on Friday in Logan at 7 p.m. at the Eccles Ice Center.
Of the last 18 matchups between the Utes and Aggies (dating back to 2013), the U has won 15. Utah State’s last win against them was on Jan. 9, 2015 – a 7-2 win in Logan.
‘It’s been a while, they’ve had our number,” said USU head coach Jon Eccles. “But I really believe that we will win. Whether we win both or we split it’ll be very nice.”
Though the Utes are eight games below .500 this season, they are a division one team in the ACHA and thus play a tougher schedule. The Aggies play in division two. One of the Utes’ wins this year came against Utah State on Sept. 23 in Salt Lake City with Utah hanging on to win 5-4.
Even with the division gap and Utah’s dominance of the result, games between these teams have been close. In that 18-game span, the average goal difference is 1.4, with just four games being decided by more than three goals and 10 by two goals or less.
One positive aspect of these games is that even if the Aggies lose both games, they will not count against them in the rankings because Utah is in division one.
USU, currently ranked second in the West and 16th in division two, closed the gap between them and first-ranked Northern Arizona University for the number one ranking after a 3-0-1 weekend at the Beehive Showcase. The Aggies have not lost a game since Nov. 3.
These two games will make up the better part of the three the Aggies play in the gap between Thanksgiving and Christmas break. They will play BYU Dec. 8.