Provo, UT – In a game befitting the most high-profile rivalry in the MCLA, the #13 Colorado State Rams used 6-2 second quarter run and got the game winning goal with 4:52 remaining to pick up a crucial RMLC victory over the #2 Brigham Young Cougars. The Rams, who lost both contests against the Cougars in 2014, came back from a 3-0 deficit early in the contest to lead 9-5 early in the third. BYU tied the game at both 10-10 and 11-11 before the Rams got the go-ahead goal and then held off a desperate Cougar attack on the goal for the win.
The Cougars got things going early with two goals just four minutes in from Jake Arbon and Zach Jordan. Chandler Westcott added a third for the home side before sophomore Brian Taggart (Mountain Vista HS; Highlands Ranch, CO) broke the drought for CSU. The Rams narrowed the gap to 3-2 with a goal from freshman Brandon Dyte (Scripps Ranch HS; San Diego, CA) to close the first quarter down by one.
The teams traded punches in the early part of the third quarter and after BYU’s Mike Fabrizio scored with 6:36 in the half, the score was tied at 5. But the Rams went on a three goal spree to close the quarter, including two goals in the final :35 of the frame to take a 8-5 lead into halftime.
Coming out of the break, sophomore Ashton Monheiser (Mountain Vista HS; Highlands Ranch, CO) scored his third goal of the game to give the Rams their biggest lead at 9-5. The Cougars battled back to make it 10-8 and set up a dramatic final quarter on the campus of Brigham Young University.
BYU tied the game with 10:20 remaining, but junior Brian Allen (Judge Memorial HS; Salt Lake City, UT) got the Rams back out in front with a dodge to the middle of the defense. The Cougars answered again on a well-placed shot from Alec Grant to tie the game at 11. Sophomore Chase Warner (Tesoro HS; Mission Viejo, CA) gave the Rams the lead for good on an alley dodge and CSU held off BYU down the stretch, including winning a key back-up after Nick Stevens hit the post for BYU with under a minute remaining.
CSU split time in the nets with David Salamie (Lakeridge HS; Lake Oswego, OR) starting and making nine saves while Jake Bender (Evergreen HS; Evergreen, CO) closed the game with eight second half saves. Matt Brandenburg had nine saves in the loss for BYU. CSU won 16/26 face-offs on the evening.
Colorado State (8-5 overall; 2-0 RMLC) has now been in five one-goal games this season, winning two and dropping three. Their win over BYU coupled with Westminster’s victory over Colorado on Thursday evening sets up a game for first place on Sunday afternoon between CSU and Westminster. BYU and Colorado tangle on Friday night as the RMLC standings begin to come into focus.