The Montana State Men’s Hockey team will travel to Utah this weekend for three back-to-back games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday against fellow Big Sky opponent, Weber State University (WSU), Brigham Young University (BYU) and Utah State University (USU) The Bobcats go into this away weekend 0-2 following their two losses at home against Montana Tech. The Cats battled Tech in two games last weekend falling 2-7 the first game and being shut out 0-10 the following game.
Weber State has a current record of 3-6-2. They have yet to lose at home this season, but are 1-6 on the road. They rank seventh in the Western division of Division II men’s hockey. USU has yet to play at home, and is 4-1-1 on the road. BYU has a combined record of 1-7 and they have given up the most points in the West region — with 50 points against them and only 14 goals scored, the Cougars are near last in the rankings.
Team president Jeff Quay has simple goals for his team this season. “We need to come together as a team and make the playoffs,” he said, “We’re ready for anything.” With teams varying from Boise State, Gonzaga and Montana Tech, the Bobcats face tough opposition. Many returning players have shown great improvement during the off season, including junior forward, Alexander Irick. “Irick has made great improvements from last year. He was in the gym all summer and it really shows with his play on the ice,” Quay said.
While interest in hockey in Bozeman has dwindled since the arena in Four Corners was turned into a brewery, the team, as well as avid hockey fans around the area, remain positive and excited about the games, no matter the outcome.
“The focus of hockey here in Montana is currently building interest in the sport,” Quay said. “There is a new rink being built at the fairgrounds that will help with more available ice time. One idea we have been talking about is getting an outdoor ice rink on campus, perhaps on an open field or in the tennis courts.”
The next home games for the Bobcats will be Nov. 22 and 23 against the Bulldogs of Gonzaga University.