CSUN falls to San Diego State

%2822%29+Alex+Reints+looks+to+win+the+puck+draw+against+%2877%29+Hayden+Bolls+Saturday+night+at+the+Iceoplex+in+Simi+Valley.+Photo+credit%3A+Solomon+Ladvienka
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CSUN falls to San Diego State

(22) Alex Reints looks to win the puck draw against (77) Hayden Bolls Saturday night at the Iceoplex in Simi Valley. Photo credit: Solomon Ladvienka

(22) Alex Reints looks to win the puck draw against (77) Hayden Bolls Saturday night at the Iceoplex in Simi Valley. Photo credit: Solomon Ladvienka

(22) Alex Reints looks to win the puck draw against (77) Hayden Bolls Saturday night at the Iceoplex in Simi Valley. Photo credit: Solomon Ladvienka

(22) Alex Reints looks to win the puck draw against (77) Hayden Bolls Saturday night at the Iceoplex in Simi Valley. Photo credit: Solomon Ladvienka

Solomon Ladvienka

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The No. 10 Matadors’ ice hockey team came out guns blazing against the No. 9 Aztecs Saturday night to end the first half of the season on a high note before going on winter break, but came up short 6-5.

San Diego State got on the board early and put two goals past CSUN’s Brandon Kalvoda in the first period. Trailing 2-0, CSUN went into the first intermission with some momentum as Maxwell Goen was able to get CSUN on the board before the end of the first.

“They [San Diego State] have a really potent offense,” said coach JP Gale. “These are two of the best teams in the state facing off.”

Penalties to CSUN ended up being costly. Though the penalty kill line for the Matadors did its job, CSUN surrendered back-to-back goals just after the penalties expired to go up 4-1. Kalvoda was pulled from goal after SDSU was up 5-1.

We have to lead from top to bottom,” said captain Alex Reints. “It trickles down after everyone sees the first, second, third and eventually the fourth line going; it’s everyone that contributes and it circles around that.”

CSUN has relied on their leaders and those leaders came through once again. Reints, contributed by assisting on Eli Berengut and John Blascoe’s back-to-back goals to make the game 5-3 as the two teams skated off into the second intermission.

Having success on the powerplay is just good puck movement from everyone, Blascoe said. “It is fun when the puck moves like that and you get to just play fast paced hockey. That’s what our powerplay did and it helped us get close but six goals were hard to come back from.”

The Matadors went on the powerplay early in the third and Reints was able to get CSUN back in the game, trailing 5-4. CSUN committed back-to-back penalties as the Aztecs skated five on three. SDSU made the Matadors pay and retook the two-goal lead.

We came back, battled back, showed that we can skate with them, mainly in the second and third period but the first period didn’t go our way,” Reints said. “Unfortunately we took a few bad penalties, went backward, but battled through it.”

It wasn’t easy for SDSU to get out of the building as CSUN has been known to come back late in close games. Isaac Breault came up big for the Matadors late in third, narrowing the margin to 6-5 with 3:13 remaining. A couple of late shots were stopped by the Aztecs and the Matadors came up just short.

They were a fast team,” Breault said. “We needed to be physical all game, and we took too many penalties tonight and that was the difference. We just have to stay focus, not make those little mistakes and we should be fine.”

In the new year, CSUN will be on a holiday break until they take off to Texas for a three-game set against University of Texas, Texas State, and Texas A&M on the weekend of Jan. 13th. The players will gather a few times throughout the holiday break to keep their feet wet and look to continue this dominate season when they return.

The Matadors are currently ranked No. 10 and have an overall record of 18-3-0-1 on the season.