More than 100 people packed the Valley Ice Center Friday to watch the CSUN Hockey team beat UC Davis 8-4.
The students gathered along the side of the rink, banged on the glass, jeered UC Davis and cheered the Matadors for their good play.
‘The crowd was fantastic. It was the most fun I’ve had in a CSUN uniform,’ said Matador captain J.P. Gale. ‘The crowd feeds off every good play we make and in turn we feed off of them.’
The team responded by charging out to a 4-0 lead in the first period. Dusty Jordan scored first on a power play on a pass from Stephen Stoll. Stoll scored next on a breakaway. Derek Van der Wal scored the third goal, again on a power play. CSUN ended up three for four while playing with the man-advantage. A.J. Bernhardt scored the fourth goal on assists from Jordan and Josh Fields. Ben Dines scored UC Davis’ first goal of the game with 4:05 left in the 1st period to make it 4-1.
‘We were a much more skilled and deeper team than UC Davis,’ said Gale. ‘Their first line was decent but it couldn’t match up to our first or second line.’
In the second period, Chris Gale scored his 19th goal of the season with assists from Stoll and Jason Bobich. Gale ranks third in Division III in goals and first with 39 points. Ryan Jackson scored next with assists from Van der Wal and J.P. Gale. J.P. Gale played in his first game since sustaining a concussion on Oct. 18 against UNLV.
Keisuke Teeple scored for UC Davis on a power play to make it 6-2. Bobich finished out the period by netting two goals on assists from Stoll and Chris Gale to make it 8-2.
In the third period, CSUN ran into penalty trouble, taking a total of six penalties. Although CSUN gave up two power play goals to Stephen Gribble and Alex Sloan, overall CSUN was 8-for-11 on the penalty kill. Goalie Ron Dierkes made 22 saves for his second win of the season.
‘Ron played well,’ said J.P. Gale. ‘All of their goals were off rebounds and the first save is all you can ask your goalie to make.’
On Saturday CSUN lost a road game to rival College of the Canyons 4-1.
As is the case in every game between the two rivals, the play got a little chippy. It was so physical that four Matadors were disqualified for the next game. Chris Gale was ejected for fighting. Tom Duma was ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct. Bernhardt received a five-minute slashing penalty at the end of the game and Rory Lamb was ejected for abuse of an official.
‘We worked hard but the refs were outlandish,’ said Gale. ‘COC has a very strong goalie and they recruited good talent during the offseason.’
The team will review tape of the game and send it to the commissioner of the Pacific Collegiate Hockey Association to appeal the disqualifications of its players, said J.P. Gale.
The loss dropped CSUN’s conference record to 5-1.
CSUN’s next game is against Fresno State Nov. 22 at the Valley Ice Center.