From University of Utah Hockey
November 4, 2021
The University of Utah Men’s Division 2 (M2) team headed South to play Utah Valley University in a high scoring, back-and-fourth affair. The Utes offense had a season best showing, netting 7 goals against the Wolverines.
Zeke Endy finished the evening with a hat trick and an assist. Four more Utes contributed goals as Utah skated to a 7-4 victory over UVU. The starting squad of Endy, Nick Madej, Luke Osoala, Andrew Urch, and Cole Sheridan was particularly productive. On top of Endy’s hat trick, Urch and Madej each scored a goal. Jack Cadieux and Ethan Kuhrt also contributed goals.
For this game, Head Coach Nick Fornelius chose to anchor the defense with the smooth-skating Urch and hard-hitting Austin Tautfest. This strategy proved useful shutting down the Wolverines’ offense and setting up scoring chances for the Utes. Starting goalie Adam Rousselo faced only 25 shots over three periods. The Utes offense outshot the Wolverines nearly two-to-one at the other end of the ice, with 45 shots on goal.
“The big thing tonight is that the guys were shooting the puck. When you put the puck on net, good things happen. And that’s what we did tonight,” Fornelius said. “Urch really showed his ability to skate the puck up and he had the first goal of the game.”
And “put the puck on net” is exactly what the Utes did this evening. With nine minutes left to play in the first period, the Wolverines were attacking in the Utah zone. Braxton Porter picked up a loose puck along the boards and sent a quick pass to Urch. Urch went coast to coast, stick-handling around the last defender and beating the Utah Valley goalie.
The following Utah goal came seconds later, again resulting from a breakout that began in the Utes defensive zone. Madej sent the puck hard along the boards behind Utah’s net. Endy snagged it and he was off to the races. He carried the puck across the blue line, past a defender on the right wing, and tucked it just inside the near goal post. Endy added one more goal near the end of the first period, so when the buzzer sounded, the Utes were ahead 3-0.
Utah Valley opened the second period with a goal by Joel Clarke. The Utes responded with a goal by Cadieux and Endy’s third goal of the evening, giving him a team-leading six goals for the season. At the start of the third period, the Utes were leading 5-1, but the Wolverines were by no means ready to call it quits. They battled back with two more goals and just missed a third when Clark’s wrist shot bounced off the crossbar. The Utes finally put the game to bed with goals by Kurht and Madej. With mere minutes left in the third period, Utah pinched a little too hard on offense. This mistake cost them one more Utah Valley goal before the final buzzer sounded.
The Utes face tough competition heading into the weekend, playing Weber State and Utah State. Fornelius says the team knows what they are up against and what they need to do.
“Something we touched on all week in practice is just taking care of the puck. If we can break out with speed and enter the zone possessing the puck, that’s going to be the biggest difference-maker for us going into the weekend.”
(Originally published at https://universityofutahhockey.com/endy-provides-the-offensive-spark-as-utah-m2-beats-utah-valley-university-7-4/)