Utah College Hockey Teams Battle For In-State Bragging Rights

Jan 30, 2020, 3:41 PM | Updated: 4:42 pm

Utah celebrates the overtime win of the Wasatch Cup Championship game versus Utah State on January ...

Utah celebrates the overtime win of the Wasatch Cup Championship game versus Utah State on January 31, 2015. The University of Utah hockey team is one of many club sports at the U. that enhances the student experience. The Skatin’ Utes have a solid following with more than 700 season ticket holders. Home games are played at the Salt Lake City Sports Complex on Guardsman Way. Hannah Padaoan

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The 6th annual Wasatch Cup kicks off tonight at the Salt Lake Sports Complex (Steiner Ice) on the University of Utah’s campus.

Utah, BYU, UVU, Weber State and Utah State will all take the ice to find out who is actually the best team in the state.

“The Utes have always had that attitude that they are the top team in the state,” said Aggies head coach Todd Renae, who expects their first game, which is against Utah, to be the most intense.

The Aggies have managed a win and an overtime loss in their previous two games against the Utes this season. The Aggies are young, with the core of their team being freshmen and sophomores.

“Being such a young team, I am surprised with how well we have adapted to some of the challenges we have faced. This team never gives up,” continued Renae.

Utah is the only ACHA Division 1 team in the tournament and they are at home, so you’d think that would give them the upper hand, but Utah has struggled in Division 1 this season, going 7-13
and has already dropped games to in-state teams, who all seem to set their sights on beating the D1 team.

The Utes had both of their goalies go down with injuries early in the season and had several other injuries they had to battle through as well. No Utah goaltender has a save percentage above 89 percent on the season.

Former NCAA D1 commit Che Landikusic is leading the Utes with 16 goals, 11 assists for 27 points in 21 games.

In a weekend full of rivalry games, all the teams seem to be focused on their Weber State game as well.

“Our goal, which we set at the beginning of the year, is to win the Wasatch Cup,” said Weber State head coach Kiyoshi Ryujin, “We know we will be facing some great teams, but it’s a challenge we’re excited for.”

The Wildcats were ranked #3 in the ACHA Division 2 rankings a few weeks ago but have fallen to 5th. With only two weekends left until nationals, the Wildcats know they need a strong showing this weekend.

“We need to start playing with more urgency than we have had the last couple of weekends. Early on the guys were earning our results and lately, we’ve gotten away from that,” Ryujin stated.

Now in their 4th season, Utah Valley’s team has not even been around as long as this tournament.

“We’re excited and ready,” stated UVUs head coach Darin Peck, “We’ve lost two players at the semester break but added a player from BYU.”

BYU is the defending tournament champion. After a decent season last year, the Cougars surprised everyone by winning the Wasatch Cup and then the Mountain West Conference. As of right now, the Cougars are sitting just outside of the playoffs and need wins and to probably once again win the conference to get into national contention.

The Cougars will be playing without captain Nixon Barber who suffered a lower-body injury last week against Colorado and hopes to be back in two weeks.

“I look forward to playing for the hardware during this weekend,” Barber said. “We’ve played these teams multiple times this season, but this has all the bragging rights attached to it. It’s our opportunity to prove that BYU competitor in this area and not just another game on your schedule. I look at Utah State as our true rival. We’ve had tight games, wins on each other’s home ice and I think the Aggies have been the standard for Utah club hockey. They seem to always be ranked in the top 10 and always going to regionals.”

There is a lot on the line for all the teams this weekend and that makes for great, entertaining hockey.

Find the full schedule and more information here. 

Utah Puck Report is a podcast all about Utah hockey, from interviews with NHL stars to which Grizzlies players are about to take the next step, Utah Puck Report has everything for a Utah hockey fan. Find it wherever you find podcasts or on KSLSports.com.

  • Utah Utes Scoreboard

  • Utah Utes Team Leaders

  • Utah Utes Standings

  • BYU Cougars Scoreboard

  • BYU Cougars Team Leaders

  • BYU Cougars Standings

  • Utah State Aggies Scoreboard

  • Utah State Aggies Team Leaders

  • Utah State Aggies Standings

Utah Puck Report

utah grizzlies player waits at center ice...

Jay Stevens, KSL Sports

Utah Grizzlies Off To Hot Start In ECHL Playoffs Against Steelheads

The Utah Grizzlies needed a final series sweep against the Tulsa Oilers to qualify for the 2023 ECHL playoffs.

5 months ago

Trevor Lewis of the flames gaurds the puck...

Jay Stevens, KSL Sports

Will The Calgary Flames Re-Sign Local NHL Star Trevor Lewis?

Calgary Flames forward Trevor Lewis has been a valuable asset to the team since signing with them prior to the 2021-2022 season.

5 months ago


Tegan Stevens and Trent Slagle, KSL Sports

Utah Grizzlies Fall In Season Opener To Rapid City Rush

The Utah Grizzlies opened their 2022 schedule with a 5-3 loss at the Maverik Center to the Rapid City Rush.

11 months ago


Jay Stevens, KSL Sports

Calgary Flames’ Trevor Lewis Up To Old Tricks Again

After spending 11 seasons and winning two Stanley Cups with the Kings, Lewis found a new home, with some familiar faces in Calgary.

1 year ago

Utah Grizzlies - Tulsa Oilers - Game 6...

Jay Stevens, KSL Sports

Grizzlies Drop Game Six To Oilers, Will Host Deciding Game 7

The Utah Grizzlies seemed to have their sights set on playing Rapid City in round 2 of the Kelly Cup Playoffs. Tulsa saw it another way.

1 year ago

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 27: President of Business Operations for the Los Angeles Kings Luc Robita...

Jay Stevens, KSL Sports

LA Kings Bring Top Prospects, Push Behind Scenes For AHL In Salt Lake

This Thursday, September 30, the LA Kings will host the Las Vegas Knights in the annual “Frozen Fury” pre-season hockey game played in Salt Lake City, Utah.

2 years ago

Sponsored Articles

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.


KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.

ksl sports logos...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.


KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.

Utah College Hockey Teams Battle For In-State Bragging Rights