<strong>LOGAN—</strong> The Utah State University hockey team has had a fantastic start to its new season. Its perfect 8-0 record, including 6-0 in road games, has been highlighted by team work and resolute goaltending.
The Aggies have scored 34 goals, compared to giving up just eight.
“It’s like a dream coaching these guys,” USU head coach Jon Eccles said. “They have tons of talent and we’re having a blast. It’s been a fun season so far.”
Utah State players up and down the roster have found their way onto the stat sheet. The Aggies have 13 different players with at least one goal and 16 players with assists.
“We work as a team and run our systems a lot better this year,” said Jordan Kerr, one of Utah State’s co-captains. “Everyone wants to win together so there are way less individuals doing their own thing.”
Cooper Limb is the team’s leading goal scorer with six goals. That ties him for just 98th in the country. Limb’s 0.75 goals per game average is well below the 1.71 average that Tyler Mistelbacher produced last season.
“The teams with the best talent don’t always come out on top,” USU co-captain Brian Gibbons said. “It’s the guys that work hard and play together. That’s what we have this year. We’re built to win a national championship.”
Eccles said that one of the keys to the team’s success is that the older players have taken the younger ones under their wings, work with them, and encourage them. He said that kind of camaraderie is part of the reason players like freshman Chris Videto have five goals.
“The mood in the locker room is so much different than it has been in the past,” Eccles said. “The guys are all together. They’re friends and buddies. Everyone is on the same page.”
Anchoring the rigid defense and protecting the net for the Aggies this season is Bryce Scherschel. His 1.14 goals against average this season is the best in all of Division II for goalies who have played more than three games.
Scherschel has saved 97 percent of all shots he has faced this season, including 77 of the 78 that Arizona State University managed in two games against USU last week. He also has the best save percentage in Division II for goalies that have more than one start.
Sophomore goalie Jordan Nighttraveller also played well in his only start. Two weeks ago he recorded a shutout against Brigham Young University in Provo, stopping all 20 shots the Cougars took.
The Aggies will face the University of Utah November 2 and Weber State University November 3. Both games will start at 7:15 p.m. and will be played at USU’s home rink – the George S. Eccles Ice Center in North Logan.