BYU survived a scare from an aggressive, physical, underrated Boise State team on Friday, winning the contest 14-11 over the Broncos. The Cougars started the game with a couple of quick goals, but Boise State matched with two goals of their own. BYU, undaunted, came back with two more. The Cougs dominated in the faceoffs, winning the lion’s share, but the Bronco defense was ruthless and relentless. BYU had a slim lead 4-3 at the end of one.
Second quarter action started much like the first with two goals from BYU. Boise scored getting within two, but the Cougars finished the second quarter with three in a row, going into half time with what felt like a comfortable 8-4 lead.
After a quick BYU goal off the opening face, the third quarter turned into a defensive nightmare for the Cougars. Boise State benefited from three consecutive man-up opportunities, capitalizing on all of them to get them back in the game, 9-7. The Cougars scored again extending their lead to three, but committed another foul resulting in one more man-up goal from the Broncos. BYU gutted out the remainder of the third scoring twice more. It was 12-9 at the end of three.
The Broncos were smelling blood, and gained a rare face off win at the start of the fourth. They quickly converted bringing them within two once again. After forcing a turnover, they scored again, and it was one point game, 12-11, but BYU was not going to let this one slip away. The Cougs won the next critical face with just over 2 minutes remaining, and dodged from around X to douse Boise’s momentum bringing the lead back to two. BYU snagged the next face off, and the Cougars finished again. Boise State was unable to penetrate the Cougars’s late-game defense, and the match ended 14-11.
The Cougars benefited from inspired face-off play from Jack Vassau and four goals from freshman attackman Chris Severson. BYU spread the love with ten different Cougar players scoring in this game. Goalie Matt Brandenburg kept the Cougs in the lead with many key saves.
Boise State proved they are a team to be reckoned with. They were relentless on defense, and quick and sneaky on offense with great play from Adam Smith, James Murphy, Luke Durkin and Liam Finn. Goalie Dustin Kelley helped his team stopping several great shots from crossing the plane.