Matador hockey opens season against Aztecs

Monique Muñiz

The CSUN hockey team opens the season tonight against San Diego State at home. Photo Credit: Monique Muniz Assistant Sports Editor

Northridge will begin its quest to return to Nationals, as they open the season tonight against San Diego State at Valley Ice Center, starting at 8:30 p.m.

The Aztecs finished a year ago with a 17-15 record and was led by forward Ben Nicoll with 26 goals.

“It will be a tough first game, but we have to go out and play hard and limit mistakes,” freshman center Mason Lomeli said.

On defense CSUN allowed its opponents to score 106 goals last season and back in net for the Matadors is Ron Direkes, who had an 18-5 record with 768 saves.

With an explosive offense, the Matadors need to make sure they are doing their jobs defensively to help their net minder out.

“We are responsible for keeping the other teams from scoring,” Anthony Kendryna said. “Our guys aren’t as big, but we have more finesse players that can help keep other teams offense low.”

 The Matadors have been working on keeping the puck out of the crease and protect their goalie.

“The team needs to play physical and we need to be the first to get to the puck,” freshman defender Matthew Goult said. “We have to make sure they don’t get in front of the net.”

The first three games of the season CSUN, who competes at the Division-III level, will be playing Division-II teams. After the Aztecs, CSUN faces Cal State Long Beach in back-to-back games .

“Our schedule is tougher this season, but playing those teams will just make us a stronger team and help us get back to nationals,” Kendryna said.