The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Matadors end three-game road trip with 5-3 win

The CSUN ice hockey team wrapped up a three-game road trip on Saturday with a 5-3 win against the UC Irvine Anteaters.

The win gives the Matadors a 4-2 conference record, along with two wins out of three straight road games. CSUN split its other two road games against Northern Arizona last week.

“UCI is a very gritty team.” said head coach Sean McLynn. “What they tend to do is really slow the game down and kind of turn it into a grudge match. We got caught up in it in the first two periods. The third period is when we finally got our act together. We played our game, used our speed and pretty much overwhelmed them.”

Despite getting the win, McLynn still wanted to see more out of his team against UCI.

“It’s always good to come away with the win, but we should’ve come to it a bit easier than that,” McLynn said.

The other two games on the road were both against the Northern Arizona University Lumberjacks. The first game resulted in a 10-3 loss on Oct. 19, followed by a 9-8 win Oct.20. The game that CSUN won came down to a shootout, with forward Jason Bobich netting the game-winning goal.

Bobich wasn’t the only factor in CSUN’s win over NAU. Goaltender Robert Beltrami was in net for the shootout and McLynn praised his performance.

“Rob was awesome,” McLynn said. “He had a fantastic game and he did a tremendous job in the shootout.”

Beltrami is getting better as the season progresses, McLynn said

“He seems to be getting his legs and getting in better shape which is what we’d hoped for early in the season,” McLynn said.

The Matadors are on a two-game win streak, but will have to bring up their defensive play in order to keep winning.

CSUN only allowed two goals in each of the first two conference games of the season, but in the last four games, two of them losses, the Matadors have allowed 29 goals.

There could be several reasons for the flurry of scoring against CSUN, McLynn said, pointing out that the traveling alone could exhaust a team.

“In the first game against NAU, it was the first night off of a seven hour trip and we were also five players short,” McLynn said. “So the guys were a little gassed out.”

McLynn doesn’t just blame the schedule, however.

“We’ve got to play tougher as a team defensively,” McLynn said. “It doesn’t just fall upon the defenseman or the goalie, the forwards also have to help out. The game is played on both ends.”

The Matadors return to the Valley Ice Center Saturday to play the University of Redlands Bulldogs for CSUN’s first home game in 21 days. This will be the second game against the Bulldogs this season for the Matadors, who seemed to score at will in their first encounter with a 16-2 win in the season opener. But, according to McLynn, their last game against each other is no reason to underestimate them.

“As far as we’re concerned, we need to take every team as a threat,” McLynn said. “Redlands may not have won a game yet, but they’ve put up some pretty good points in the past four games. There will be no predictions on my part other than we need to take them seriously as a team.”

A win against the Redlands could do well for the confidence of the Matadors. Their next game is against the College of the Canyons Cougars. COC has had a strong team for the past few seasons, particularly on the offensive side of the ice.

The Cougars’ roster posted on the American Collegiate Hockey Association website, shows many returning players. COC has scoring threats in forwards Tyler Jones and Shawn Gardiner, and also have goaltender Kamron Javaherpour who can potentially shut down the Matadors’ offense. COC also has Greg DePalma, who is the brother of CSUN forward Vincent DePalma.

“We’ve always matched up particularly well against COC,” McLynn said. “It’s a very long rivalry. We’re so close and a lot of players know each other. It’s another game we need to win. I believe we have the tools to do it, but it’s going to be a tough one.”

The game Saturday against the Redlands will be at the Valley Ice Center in Panorama City at 8:30 p.m. This will be CSUN’s last home game until Dec. 1 against UCI. The game against COC will be played at the Ice Station Valencia on Nov. 9.

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