Aggies split wins and losses in the Beehive Showcase

From The Utah Statesman

By Brian Kirk


USU Hockey played four games this weekend in the Beehive Showcase. The event, which invites schools from surrounding states to come and compete, is the longest-running showcase in the American Collegiate Hockey Association. The Aggies played hard and ultimately ended the showcase with a 2-2 record.

Game 1

Game 1 for the Aggies was a 4-3 loss against the Loyola Marymount Lions on Thursday night in a shot-for-shot affair between the two teams.

Dillon Hale opened the scoreline at the 8:47 mark of the first period with a well-placed shot to the top left corner of the net. Sam Voss had the assist.

Matisse Hawthorne equalized for the Lions with 1:33 left in the first period. Hawthorne recovered a rebounded shot from Alexander Skenderian. The score would remain 1-1 into the first intermission.

The second period kicked off as Aggie forward Sean Johnston scored a powerplay goal at the 15:45 mark. Johnston recovered a rebound and slid it past Lions goaltender John Profaci.

The Lions re-leveled the score about four minutes later while being a man down. Connor Kaczmarek capitalized on a poor pass by the Aggies and converted a breakaway attempt.

USU’s George Kuehn scored the final goal of the second period at the 9:05 mark. Kuehn recovered a shot attempt by forward Caleb Sanborn and slotted the shot past Profaci. The scoreline was 3-2 in favor of the Aggies going into the second intermission.

Will DeLaForest took a shot from the Lions’ offensive blue line that found its way into the back of the net, leveling the scoreline at 3-3 with 9:20 left to play.

The Aggies earned a penalty for too many men on the ice with 1:26 left to play in the game. Hawthorne punished the Aggies, scoring a game-winning goal that pushed the final score to 4-3.

Game 2

Game 2 was a 5-1 rout over the Northern Arizona University Lumberjacks.

“There is a little bit of bad blood with them, so it is sure to be a fun game to watch,” Aggie goalie Titan Anderson said before the game.

The action was instant as forward Ben Tschida scored for the Aggies just 13 seconds into the game in his return from a collarbone injury. The first goal of the game was followed by the annual Teddy Bear Toss. All stuffed animals thrown onto the ice are donated to local Cache Valley children.

Mason Mulneaux would add to the lead two minutes later at the 17:19 mark, guiding in a rebound from defenseman Trace Farr.

Kuehn scored a third goal for the Aggies, a result of good combination play from teammates Voss and Jackson Ferry that broke through the defense and into the net.

The score would remain 3-0 going into the first intermission.

In the second period, USU wasted no time as Ethan Tarver connected with Sanborn for a breakaway goal at the 18:42 mark.

Aggie Zach Pires earned a five-minute major penalty and a game suspension for a spearing call. Pires missed the remainder of the game. This penalty would end up being downgraded by the referees to a cross-check penalty, and the suspension would be lifted.

Farr scored a fifth goal deep from the blue line for the Aggies at the 2:45 mark.

Ryan Trainor scored for the Lumberjacks with only 38 seconds to go to make the score 5-1. This would end the period.

The third period would not see any goals from either team. Both teams played a strong third period on the defensive end. When the final buzzer sounded, the Aggies were 1-1.

Game 3

Game 3 was a late decisive 3-2 victory for the Aggies against Arizona State University.

It was a strong defensive effort from both teams as neither squad could find the back of the net through two periods. Much of the credit belongs to both of the Aggie goaltenders, Kale Samuels and Hayden Manning.

The Sun Devils struck first at the 16:56 mark in the third period as Enevoldsen scored quickly off of a faceoff in their offensive zone.

Farr responded quickly for the Aggies as a shot from the left side circle found its way into the ASU goal, leveling the score.

Brogan Young gave the Aggies a 2-1 lead at the 12:45 mark after he took advantage of a rebounded shot by Ferry.

The goals kept coming as Kuehn recovered a missed shot by Young and slotted it home with 9:56 left to play in the game.

The Aggies would finish the game a man down after Nolan Gifford was sent to the box on a tripping call at the 1:55 mark.

After a timeout, ASU’s Ethan Bellettini capitalized on the power play by scoring just six seconds after play resumed to try and spark a final push for ASU. But it came too late, as the Aggies held on to claim the 3-2 victory.

“It was a hard-earned win. It was fun,” said Aggie captain Ben Carlson, smiling. “Everyone bought into their roles. We did our jobs, it’s a W.”

Game 4

The final game of the showcase was a 3-2 loss against the Providence Argonauts.

Despite the fatigue, Ferry opened the scoring for the Aggies after a calculated pass from Hale through the crease.

The scoreline would remain 1-0 into the first intermission. Johnston said their fatigue was showing.

“We need to wake up. We need to be more attentive in the [offensive] zone and get a few more goals,” Johnston said.

The Argonauts were the ones who responded in the second period as Jon O’Brien took advantage of a breakaway attempt and leveled the scoreline at 1-1 at the 16:58 mark.

Elliott Venini scored a similar goal at the 4:42 mark to give Providence the lead. The scoreline would remain 2-1 into the final intermission.

At the 12:22 mark in the third, Hale connected with Ferry on the edge of the net to score the Aggies’ second goal, leveling the score at 2-2.

Adam Husli scored a backhand shot that sneaked under Anderson to give Providence a 3-2 lead with 9:25 left to play.

The pace of the Argonauts proved to be too much for the Aggies as the scoreline remained 3-2 at the final horn, leaving USU 2-2 in the Beehive Showcase.

The Aggies won’t see any action again until Dec. 1, as they take on Maryville and Lindenwood in a three-game weekend. They’ll return home in the new year facing the University of New Hampshire on Jan. 19.

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