Saturday night at the NoCo Ice Arena verified that a team that out-plays and out-shoots the other doesn’t always end in the victor.
Colorado State hockey fell short against Division II Utah State (1-2) in its final game of the weekend. The Rams struggled to relay Fridays momentum from an 8-3 win over Weber State to their advantage.
On Friday, the Rams offense and defense breezed past Weber State as a result of connecting lines, passes and shots on goal.
CSU junior Zac Novack put the Rams on the board within the first five minutes off a shot from the right side. Novack started the rally of goals for CSU as the Rams went into the third period leading 8-2.
“We came out strong in the first period and that carried through the entire game,” Novack said. “Players stepped up and we continued to click as one.”
A versatile team, CSU had eight different goal scorers on Friday: Novack, Eric Killam, Chris Guidotti, Payden Mielke, Will Neff and Collin Abitz.
“I think we worked hard (Friday) night as far as driving the net and making the most of our opportunities,” head coach Kelly Newton said. “(Saturday) we didn’t do that for a full 60 minutes. I thought we had a couple let downs in the first period where they allowed them to score.”
The difference between Friday and Saturday was decided upon the fact that Utah State pushed past the rams defense with two pucks in the net.
“Utah State is definitely a better team; they’re bigger, they’re faster and their goalie played great,” Newton said. “So I mean, when our team only gives up two goals, we should be winning games.”
From the start, CSU were forced to play catch up. Utah State captain, Cooper Limb silenced the rams on a goal within the first five minutes.
It wasn’t until the second period when the rams put themselves on the board. Freshman Drew Baggen scored the first goal and the only goal for the Rams.
“We weren’t getting to the net for the rebounds, most of our shots were from the outside,” Alex Steidler said. “It is easier for goalies to make saves on shots from the outside.”
Utah State held the Rams to one goal on 42 shots on goal, compared to a mere 19.
With 1:15 remaining on the clock, CSU pulled together to discuss its last chances for a shot on net. When the Rams took the ice, the goal keeper was out adding one more attacker for CSU.
In its final push, CSU could not answer back to Utah State.
“Obviously our top two lines that are supposed to be our goal scoring lines didn’t get it done,” Newton said. “When you get 18 shots in the third period on net and you don’t score, it kind of sums up the issues you’re having that night.”
Hockey Beat Reporter Haleigh Hamblin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org