Bobcat hockey drops gloves, game

MSU Bobcats defend goal against Orediggers in final ACHA game.
MSU Bobcats defend goal against Orediggers in final ACHA game.

The Bobcat hockey squad did not manage a goal in their final American Collegiate Hockey Association home game against the Montana Tech Orediggers, losing 2-0 in a rough, rivalry game.

It was certainly a wild one at the Haynes Pavillion. The Bobcats could not seem to stay out of the penalty box. They accumulated 15 penalties to Butte’s 10, including six disqualifications for fighting, three on each side. The game ended in fistacuffs and four players were ejected.

This game is comparable to the last loss that came at the hands of the Orediggers, where penalties cost the Bobcats the game down the stretch. MSU committed nine of their 15 penalties in the third period. “It was a pretty frustrating game,” said Assistant Coach John Gleason. “I thought we outplayed them most of the game, we just never capitalized on our chances.” That has been the story for the Bobcats this season — penalties and missed opportunities.

Despite the disappointing record, Gleason focused on the things MSU did right this season. “I think there are a lot of positives to be taken from this season that will help this coming weekend, and help toward building the team up in the future. We have a solid core of players returning, and I think they can provide the leadership and ability to build on this season and improve next year.”

The team will most certainly have the support of the MSU administration, as President Cruzado’s visit to drop the puck earlier this season sent a strong message that MSU looks to grow its hockey program. Perhaps someday we’ll be competing with the likes of North Dakota and Minnesota.

Though Butte was the last ACHA-sanctioned home game, the Bobcats will play the Bozeman men’s travelling team, the Stingers, at the Haynes Pavillion on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 9 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 23 at 10:30 p.m. It will be your last chance to see the Bobcats skate this season, so take advantage.