After finishing the season with a record setting 25 wins this year and a West Coast Hockey Conference title, CSUN’s ice hockey program looks forward to a bright future next season.
Though turning to some of the younger players on the team to repeat a phenomenal year, four Matadors played their final games of their careers for CSUN.
Seniors Evan Sharpshair, Ellis Bourgoujian and Drew LaGaly, played for the final time in last weekend’s West Regional Tournament. CSUN was eliminated in the first round to Metro State University, Denver.
“It’s been a great season,” captain Alex Reints said. “It’s been an honor playing with these seniors, key components to our team. They were here for us, now we need to move on, do what we can to show to them and everyone that what they did for the program didn’t go to waste and we’re going to move forward.”
Senior Trevor West is also graduating and had played his final game at the L.A. Kings College Cup. West didn’t make the road trip to regionals after West and his fiancé gave birth to their first son, Elliot. West played in 48 games as a Matador and recorded four career goals.
“With Trevor [West], we only got to know Trevor for two years,” said head coach JP Gale. “Another good kid, but we are going to miss his size and his physicality going forward.”
Having been on the team since the 2014 season, Bourgoujian played in 126 games, racked in 33 goals, 48 assists, tallied 81 points and served as assistant captain to the Matadors.
“The program means so much more than just playing hockey to me,” Bourgoujian said. “It’s helped me build relationships with teammates I will have for the rest of my life. With that said, I hope that I’m remembered as someone who not only contributed to the program as a player but as a mentor to the younger kids on the team as the seniors did for me when I was a freshman/sophomore.”
Bourgoujian is currently majoring in television production and plans to be a sound engineer for television and films.
“Ellis [Bourgoujian] has grown so much,” Gale said. “When we got him, he was raw, emotionally immature, and he turned out to be a very solid two way player and very proud of the accomplishments and growth he had and I’m really going to miss him.”
Drew LaGaly scored over 50 goals, had 82 assists, totaled 133 career points and recorded four career hat tricks in his 126 games as a Matador
“Drew [LaGaly] has made such a lasting impact on this team,” Gale said. “He was the main driver and helping build the locker room. His legacy is going to help build this team more than any other player that’s been involved in this team.” .
While also serving as an assistant captain, LaGaly helped build the Matadors’ locker room and will continue to be involved with the program following graduation.
“My time at CSUN has really been enjoyable, I accredit that to the hockey program,” LaGaly said. “I have made many lifelong friends and learned many life lessons through this hockey team. I know I will always be involved with the hockey club at CSUN. I hope that my legacy for the program will be that any one player can change the direction of the program. Mine, not being an on-the-ice change, but rather off the ice; building the locker room has changed the program’s character and I hope that it continues to impress prospect players and influence their decision to come to CSUN.”
Sharpshair is currently majoring in exercise science and wants to pursue physical therapy. While also minoring in philosophy, Sharpshair wants to better his writing/rational capacities as he believes we are here to live the most conscious, rational, ethical lives we can, and being happy doing so.
Sharpshair also served as an assistant captain for the program while tallying 67 career points in 85 game appearances.
“Playing for CSUN was an opportunity to realize my goal of playing college hockey, something I had given up three year of juniors and not making it into any NCAA programs,” Sharpshair said. “Hockey has been a passion for me, like many of my teammates, for over 15 years. So from not playing for two years to finding myself on a competitive team, I became extra motivated to apply myself scholastically as well.”
The Matadors will regroup and get focused again during the summer in hopes to duplicate their 25 win season, and go further in the West Regional Tournament with hopes for a spot in Nationals next season.