The downtown CenturyLink Arena became home to eight college club hockey teams on Thursday, Sept. 28 to Sunday Oct. 1 for the Bronco Roundup Invitational Showcase. Denver University, Weber State, University of Washington, Utah State, Cal State Northridge, Montana Tech, San Jose State and, of course, Boise State took to the ice over the weekend to kick off the club hockey season.
While flying under the radar for the most part, the Boise State club hockey team has been around for seven years, not including a stint in the 80s. Despite the low recognition, the team has seen success as of late, making the playoffs in the 2015-2016 season.
“It’s unfortunate that people don’t know (about the team),” said team president Josh Kincaid. “We try to make it fun and we have a lot of fun playing.”
Launching into the showcase on Sept. 28, the Broncos took on University of Washington in front of a crowd of Boise State hockey fans. Goal after goal was scored as Bronco fans banged on the glass in support. Jake Minton (3 goals), Michael Carranza (2 goals), Connor Hoernlein (2 goals) and many others found the net time after time, eventually leading to a blowout victory. The goalie, Corey Grummick, had 21 saves for UW’s 24 shots, and Kincaid, Carranza and Erik Pinsky were there for almost every assist. When all was said and done, the team crushed the Huskies 11-3.
On top of being able to watch action-packed games, the audience was also treated to entertainment and free Bronco gear between periods. Junior hockey members held a short scrimmage, then tossed out blue and orange necklaces and t-shirts to the crowd. Later, members of the Delta Delta Delta sorority and the Alpha Kappa Lambda fraternity went head to head in a chair-race across the ice.
The next night, Boise State tied Denver University 6-6 in another exciting game. Hoernlein and Carranza scored two goals each, and Griffin Ames and Minton contributed to the score as well.
After the tie against Denver University, Boise State took on Montana Tech the following afternoon. The Broncos won this game, beating Montana Tech 6-1. Carranza started the scoring party early with a pair of goals in the first period, then Kincaid finished the game with the team’s sixth goal in the 3rd period.
“We just want to keep winning, go to nationals and show our stuff out there,” Kincaid said. “It’s always fun, I’ve been there once and I want to do it again.”
Broncos’ goaltender Brody Cavataio played extremely well, posting 25 saves of the night on 26 attempts, losing his shutout bid late in the 3rd period. Broncos’ special teams also played well, killing four of five penalties and converting on three of eight power play opportunities.
Following their 2-0-1 weekend, Boise State now improves to 4-0-1 on the season. It is a solid start to the season for the team, but they hold themselves to very high expectations.
The Broncos play next on Oct. 6, when they travel to Bozeman to take on Montana State.