Sometimes the underdog can scrape together a victory and escape with the win. However, there would be no such luck for the Black Hills State University hockey team this weekend against the CSU Rams.
Thoroughly outmatched by a faster, stronger and more physical Ram team, BHSU was hammered in two losses by a combined score of 41-1.
The Friday night game saw the Rams score 17 goals in the first period before going on to win 25-0. BHSU made it a closer game on Saturday night, but they were still defeated by the Rams, 16-1.
Fairly assured of a victory, head coach Brian Sutton saw the game as an opportunity for his team to relax after several high-pressure games that clinched a tournament berth for the Rams.
“It was basically working on conditioning; it’s a little time to relax,” Sutton said after the game. “They needed a break and this was a good one for us. It takes the stress off us.”
Not only were the games a chance to recuperate for the Rams, but they were also an opportunity to play against some former Rams who played for the BHSU team because they were undermanned. Current assistant coach Jeremy Jennings and several other former Ram players suited up for BHSU.
“It’s always fun playing against the older guys,” CSU team captain Chris Lockrem said. “We were just out there to have fun tonight.”
The two wins continue the Rams’ stellar spring semester, in which they have gone undefeated with seven straight wins and pushed their record to 19-10-1. With three games left in the regular season, the team is looking to go into the ACHA Division II National Tournament with some momentum. To do that, the Rams will have to win their next two games against rival University of Colorado.
“This is by far the best team we’ve had in my five years here,” Lockrem said. “(The CU game) is something we look forward to: a sold-out crowd and a great game. Our offense will get goals, so we just need to concentrate on defense.”
Sutton spoke of the magnitude and rivalry in the games against CU this weekend.
“What can I say? It’s a huge game,” Sutton said. “We could possibly see them in the semifinals (of the national tournament).”
The Rams will play in Boulder on Friday night and will return to play the Buffs at the Providence at 7 p.m. on Saturday. n