The Cal State Northridge Hockey team went 2-1 over the weekend and improved their record to 19-3.The Matadors got off to a bad note by losing to Long Beach State but their offense exploded against Fresno State and Northern Arizona.
Friday’s match between CSUN and Long Beach State looked pretty even most of the game, but the 49ers were looking to get back at the Matadors from their previous match-up, where they lost 7-1.
This time the 49ers scored five unanswered goals in the last seven minutes of the game to give them a 5-1 win.
The Matadors looked tired after 40 minutes of play as their defense fell.
“We got two players hurt, but that isn’t an excuse” head coach Steve Gale said. “We just ran out of gas.”
Northridge’s only lead and goal in the game came when forward Jack Avetissian scored past 49er goalie with 18.6 seconds left in the second.
Matador goalie Ron Dierkes, who made 40 saves, kept the team in the game when the 49ers were on the offense attack, but with Matadors defense colliding he couldn’t stop Long Beach State’s momentum.
“It’s a total let down for us and for me,” Dierkes said. “We lacked enthusiasm and energy.”
With a disappointing loss against the 49ers, the Matadors regained their winning ways by defeating the fifth ranked Fresno State Bulldogs 11-2 on Saturday.
“We had a team meeting and talked about what we needed to work on,” captain JP Gale said about his team trying to bounce back after losing to the 49ers. “We didn’t play like we usually do. We didn’t move our feet and we weren’t physical.”
After leading 7-2 at the end of the second period the Matadors needed to be strong on their penalty kill.
“That was just way to many penalties,” coach Steve Gale said.
The team combined for 14 penalties, with ten of those being in the third period.
The Bulldogs came as close as trailing by two with about 14 minutes left in the game.
“We don’t usually have that problem (of getting penalties) so hopefully it doesn’t continue.” JP Gale said.
The third period saw Northridge short-handed most of the time and almost giving the Bulldogs a fighting chance to come back.
The Bulldogs scored two goals on power plays in the beginning of the third period, and added another before Matador Chris Gale scored again.
With 12:11 to go and four-on-four skating Matador Bernhardt scored again, but the Bulldogs would not give up the chase, as they scored one more time.
Sunday against Northern Arizona University the Matadors came out to play solid hockey and cruised to an 11-2 victory.
“We were fast and played physical,” CSUN captain JP Gale said.
The Matadors attacked early getting three goals in the first three minutes of the game and by the end of the period they led 5-0.
In the second period the Lumberjacks scored back-to-back goals to make it 6-2, but at the end of the period the Matadors stopped Northern Arizona’s momentum by scoring three more goals.
Chris Gale and Anthony Kendryna both had hat tricks and three assists in the game.
The Matadors get back on the ice this weekend against No. 1 College of the Canyons, Friday night and UCLA on Saturday night at Valley Ice Center, both games start at 8:30pm.