A 5-1 win for the Matadors Saturday night completed the sweep of LMU and got the team back to an even .500 on the season.
“Come out and bury them,” captain Alex Reints said following Friday’s win. “Make them dread the drive home.”
The Matadors got another consecutive quality start from goaltender, Vincent Sepe, and despite an early goal from the Lions on the powerplay early in the first, Sepe held his ground and made 34 saves.
“I think our team came ready to play,” Sepe said. “It made my job a lot easier. I just did what I had to do and we got the win. It’s a habit. You have to see what works for you and continue at it.
CSUN did not score in the first period causing the team to trail 1-0 entering the second before Eli Berengut continued his hot play for the Matadors and tied the game three minutes in the middle frame.
“We were fighting for the puck,” Berengut said. “We wanted that goal to tie the game and get going. We needed the win. Levi [Bolls] took a shot at the net, it just missed. It popped out in front of the net and buried it.”
With 13:03 left in the second the two teams skated four on four. The Lions were no match for Cameron Rorick and John Blascoe. Rorick found Blascoe in the mid slot, and Blascoe buried it past the Lions’ goaltender.
“Conference game, ”Blascoe said. “We won last night against them, and we wanted to have the same mentality as we had last night. Wanted to approach the same way we did last night. I had a screen set up, thought the goalie wasn’t going to see the shot on goal, and it worked out.”
After the 2-1 in the second period, the Matadors pulled away in the third. Just past two minutes into the final frame, John Michael Laurin fired a rocket through defenseman from the blue line, extending the Matadors’ lead, 3-1.
“Came off a hard forecheck,” Laurin said. “The guys were playing really well, playing physical down low. All I had to do was just take the shot.”
A minute later Matt Hoover found Rorick battling down low in front of the Lions’ net and Rorick cashed in for the Matadors.
“It was a good pass from Hoover,” Rorick said. “He had good sauce on the backhand and I buried it.”
Rorick repaid Hoover for the goal in the later part of the period. With the Matadors up,4-1, Hoover finished off Loyola Marymount. Rorick saw Hoover break toward the net and slid him the puck. Hoover put the puck on net but was defended off by the Lions’ goalie. The puck caromed mid-air in front of the battling Hoover and the goalie. Like a baseball player, Hoover located the puck, swung his stick and netted the puck past the goalie, sealing the 5-1 victory for CSUN.
“We’re playing simple hockey and putting the pressure on,” Hoover said. “We’re getting a man in the zone, the puck squirts out, find the open puck and put it in the net.”
Two crucial wins against their rivals in the West Coast Hockey Conference. The Matadors (7-7) are currently 3-2 now in conference play.
“It was a turning point for this team,” Laurin said. “Something we really needed to step it up compared to our last weekend, and I think we’re going to start winning some games.”
Their next game will be Nov. 17 when they travel to face off against WCHC opponent, Long Beach State.
“I think our team is really coming together and starting to build,” Rorick said. “I think we’re capable of winning going forward.”