In week 1, the No. 10 Arizona Laxcats split their trip to the Beehive State with a 12-2 drubbing at the hands of No. 6 BYU and a bounceback 10-6 victory over Utah Valley. Week 2 gives us another Friday-Saturday lineup as the Montana Grizzlies roll through, taking on both the Utah State Aggies and the Utah Valley Wolverines. The Grizzlies have had a rough handful of seasons after moving up to MCLA D-I, and this season finds them dropping back down to D-II, making their road trip to face two D-I school in USU and UVU more of a warm up for all squads involved.
2/10 – Montana @ Utah State – 7:45pm
The Griz had a potent offense last season, with four players averaging over two points per contest, and they return three of those four for the 2017 campaign including leading scorer and Judge alumnus Eric Larson. However, new Aggie head coach Troy Oldham has won a lot of games because of his stellar defensive schemes, so look for this to be the end of the field where the contest is decided–despite the fact that USU is bringing in a new goalie and only two contributing d-poles from last season.
There’ll be a mystery at the center X for both teams, each being without all three faceoff men from last season. The Grizzlies look to have the advantage at keeper, though, returning sophomore goalie Andrew Moesel with a year of experience under his belt. This game could be a good chance for Montana to improve on a defense that gave up roughly 15 goals a game last season, though, as Utah State lost their top five offensive contributors from last year.
2/11 – Montana @ Utah Valley – 1:00pm
The Grizzlies and Wolverines developed a pretty good rivalry when both were on the top of MCLA D-II and stoked that fire last season when UVU took down the Griz 19-8. The game won’t be so lopsided this year, though, if the Wolverine offense comes out slow like they did against Arizona. The Green & Gold tallied zero assists for the game and scored just twice in the first three quarters of play last week before finally shaking the rust off and scoring four in the final quarter. UVU will lean heavily on sophomore attackman Justin Haws, who’s scored half of UVU’s goals on the young season. If the Grizzly defense is anything like it was a year ago, this may be just the game the Wolverines need to get their offense clicking.