By: Sydnee Boley
Boise State’s men’s club hockey team headed to the Mountain West Championships in Ogden, Utah to contend for this year’s title, but the tough competition resulted in a 1-2 record for the weekend. Eight teams played from Feb. 1 to Feb. 3 at the Seven Peaks Ice Arena. Boise State, Brigham Young University, Grand Canyon University, Montana State, Montana Tech, Utah State, Utah Valley University and Weber State were all there to compete.
Heading into the tournament, Boise State, ranked No. 5 in the West Regional, was focused on cleaning up their defensive zone and regrouping quicker to get up the ice at a better pace.
“It’s always exciting just because this is a time of year where you’re basically one and done at this point,” said Josh Kincaid, club president and defensive player for the Broncos. “You lose one game on the weekend and that weekend is over and you go on to regionals, and if you lose one game at regionals, then your season is over.”
Their first game was Thursday night against the unranked Utah Valley Wolverines. The Broncos came out on top with a 14-2 win. Starting off the first two periods with four goals a piece, Boise State only improved from there to finish the game with six goals in the final period. Eric Pinsky led the team with three goals and three assists, followed by Zachary Biebuyck (with two goals and assists) and Jake Minton (with one goal and three assists). Goalie Corey Grummick kept the Wolverines scoreless for the first two periods with 12 saves.
The next night, Boise State played Brigham Young University, ranked No. 14 in the West Regional. A win in this game meant a spot in the finals against No. 3 ranked and three-peat champions Utah State. Going goalless in the first and third periods, the Broncos faced a tough 2-5 loss. Goalie Kyler Ayers recorded 24 saves in the game from 28 attempts.
“Their hard work definitely outbeat our talent,” said Jake Minton, a forward for the Broncos. “It’s something we have to keep in mind going forward. We can’t win on talent alone; you got to put in the hard work with it to win.”
Boise State went on to lose 2-4 against Weber State in the consolation game. Grummick had an impressive 31 saves on 35 shots at goaltender. Brigham Young lost 1-6 in the championship game, giving the Utah State Aggies their fourth straight title.
Zak Roller, another forward for Boise State, reflected on the weekend, “We can’t take these chances for granted, especially in this kind of sport. A team could beat any team on any given day. It all depends on who is willing to fight for it.”
The Broncos’ next competition will take place at the West Regional tournament from Feb. 22 to Feb. 25. A top two finish there could guarantee a spot for the Broncos at nationals in Columbus, Ohio in March.