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 upset at home by UC Irvine

The Matadors ice hockey team ended the first half of their season with a 4-2 loss to UC Irvine at the Valley Ice Center on Saturday.

The game was the lowest scoring of the season, beating out CSUN’s previous match against UCI which the Matadors won 5-3. CSUN managed only two goals Saturday, resulting in their weakest offensive outing against a Pacific Division team all season. This game also marked the irst loss on home ice for CSUN since losing to the University of San Diego 8-5 on Oct 13.

Strong defensive play from both teams contributed to the low scoring. UCI forward Jeremy Mau scored the first goal of the game eight and a half minutes into the first period.

The second period was scoreless, with the Matadors unable to capitalize during the 16 penalty minutes accessed to UCI.

CSUN opened up the third period on the powerplay after UCI defenseman Ben Crockett was called for roughing late in the second period, with the penalty carrying over into the third. The Matadors’ defenseman Clark Torres scored to give CSUN its first goal and tying the game at 1-1.

The tie was the closest the Matadors would got to a win, however. UCI’s Brett Timmins scored less than one minute later, followed by a goal by Andrew Daly to put Irvine ahead 3-1.

CSUN’s freshman forward Chris Gale scored his 28th goal of the season, but the Matadors just couldn’t seem to catch up.

UCI’s Mau scored his second goal of the game with less than a minute to play, sealing the 4-2 win for Irvine.

The Matadors loss came after an extra week of rest following the Clash in the Corn tournament Nov. 15 – 17 in Dordt, Iowa where the Matadors played other tough Pacific Region teams. CSUN went 2-1 in the tournament, beating Dordt 6-5 and St. Olaf 6-3 before losing to Northern Colorado 13-3.

Despite ending the first half of the season by losing two straight games, the Matadors went into the last two games carrying a six-game win streak. CSUN also has an 8-5 record, with one of their losses being against San Jose State, a school playing in the higher division two, instead of three.

The American Collegiate Hockey Association recently released its updated rankings of division three teams with CSUN moving up to fifth from ninth in the Pacific Region.

The Matadors have beaten two of the teams ranked above them in Dordt and Northern Arizona. CSUN has yet to play San Diego State and lost recently to Northern Colorado.

One big reason why the team has performed so well this season can be credited to freshman forward Chris Gale. In his first season as a Matador, Gale leads the team in scoring with 28 goals and 19 assists and is the sixth top scorer in Division Three hockey.

CSUN’s offensive threat looks to continure into the second half of the season with explosive players like Gale, Nikita Behm, and Jason Bobich. The team also has a solid defense with players with J.P. Gale and Vincent DePalma.

The team will take a break until Jan. 5 when the second half of the season begins with a home game against Fresno State, who the Matadors defeated 8-2 earlier this season. CSUN will also enjoy a long stay at home with only two of the remaining eight games being on the road.

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