#25 Alabama Defeats Utah, 4-1, for Best Start of the Division-I Era
GAME #5 - UTAH 1, #25 ALABAMA 5
PELHAM, Ala. – The No. 25 Alabama hockey program defeated Utah, 4-1, in the two programs’ first-ever meeting on Thursday night. With the win the program improves to 4-1 on the season, its best start of the Division-I era. Head coach Kyle Richards also becomes the first UA coach to have won four of his first five games at the helm.
The first period began slowly with nothing to record on the box score for the first 16 minutes. With 3:42 left in the opening frame, Utah’s David Barnes received a minor penalty for hooking and seconds later, Alabama took full advantage of the power play. Junior Pierre Ouellette scored on the advantage with an assist from senior Jeremy Hannah to give Alabama a 1-0 lead at the close of the period.
Seven minutes into the second period, freshman Vaughan Kavanaugh scored his first career goal to extend the Alabama lead to two goals. Senior Thomas Godfrey was credited for the assist.
“Kavanaugh was doing everything we talk about whether it’s going to the net or being physical,” Richards said. “Even when he was out and injured, he was asking questions. He wants to learn and do what’s best for the team and himself.”
The rest of the period was penalty-laden with two minors from each of the teams. The last penalty was called on Utah’s Alex King with just 1:30 left to play in the period.
Alabama went into the third period with 30 seconds left on the power play but were unable to take advantage. About five minutes into the period, Alex King scored with an assist from Noah Berry, putting Utah on the scoreboard for the first time in the game. Roughly 10 minutes later, senior Jack Rooney scored with assists from senior Jonathon Lovorn and junior Taylor Joseph to put the score at 3-1. With just 1:21 left to play, Joseph sealed the win with an empty net goal, his second such tally of the year.
Alabama and Utah will play again tomorrow at the Pelham Civic Complex. The puck will drop at 7 p.m. CT.
*This story has been corrected to reflect an official scoring change