After winning two of three home games last weekend, the CSUN men’s hockey team looked to keep the momentum going as they traveled to San Diego for two intense road games.
On Friday, the Matadors tried to avenge their Jan. 26 loss to powerhouse San Diego State. Instead, they were handed their worst defeat of the season, losing 12-1. For the first eight minutes of the game, the Matadors were able to hold SDSU scoreless, but at 12:11, the Aztecs scored on a goal by forward Alec Nadelle.
CSUN assistant head coach Steve Gale immediately knew his team was in trouble.
“Their shoulders and their heads dropped pretty much after the first goal,” Gale said. “They were defeated right then and [the coaches] couldn’t do anything. Scream, yell, beg, plead–nothing worked.”
Three minutes later, SDSU forward Adam Mark scored, followed by a goal from forward Ben Nicoll. San Diego State went into the first intermission with a 3-0 lead.
Three minutes into the second period San Diego State forward Anthony Sansone scored, followed five minutes later by a goal from forward Jeff Vicenio. At 8:49, Nicoll scored his second goal of the night and one minute later, forward Kolin Ozonian increased the SDSU lead to 7-0.
CSUN got on the board at 4:05 in the second period with a shorthanded goal from junior forward Jason Bobich. Freshman forward Chris Gale and senior defensemen Richard Pulliman were credited with the assists. After the solo Matador goal, SDSU forward Nigel Schroeder scored with 1:39 left in the second period to give the Aztecs an 8-1 lead. San Diego State scored four more goals in the third period giving CSUN its seventh loss of the season. The lopsided score was also evident in the lack of shots on goal. While SDSU was able to fire off 60 shots, the Matadors were only able to launch 17.
“We just didn’t show up to play,” said Coach Gale.
The Matadors did show up to play on Saturday night against the University of California, San Diego.
Sophomore forward Tom Lalley got Northridge on the board at 2:28 in the first period. Less than one minute later, UCSD senior forward Kolin Ozonian scored to make it 3-1 in favor of the Tritons. CSUN closed the period with a shorthanded goal by junior defenseman J.P. Gale.
Northridge opened the second period with an offensive explosion. Two minutes into the period, junior forward Derek van der Wal tied the game at 3-3. Chris Gale scored the next two goals and Bobich closed the period with a goal at 5:25. CSUN entered the second intermission with a 6-3 lead. Chris Gale opened the last period with his third goal of the night.
Less than one minute later, junior forward Josh Fields scored the Matadors’ sixth unanswered goal. San Diego broke its scoring drought with defenseman Mike McCracken’s power play goal with 14:22 left in the period. CSUN answered right back with three goals of their own. At 9:35, Fields scored his second goal of the night, followed three minutes later by Chris Gale’s fourth goal of the game.
“[On Friday] we let ourselves down, we let our goaltenders down and we let our coaches down,” Gale said. ” I wanted to do everything I could tonight to get this team a win and everything worked out.”
Bobich scored with 51.2 second left in the game to make the final score 11-4.
“We were a different team from last night,” McLynn said.
CSUN will play their last regular season game against UCLA on Friday at 8:30 p.m. at the Valley Ice Center in Panorama City. The team will be selling tickets on Magnolia Walk from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday and Wednesday.