By: Keshia Knight, SRJC Hockey Staff Writer.
It has been a very interesting month of play for the Polar Bears.
After going 3-0 to start the season, the Polar Bears dropped four straight games including two at Snoopy’s Home Ice to Division III teams, a first in recent club history. Luckily the team ended the month on a good note, going 2-1 on their recent road trip to Idaho.
SRJC lost two games in Colorado before coming home October 13 to face UC Davis. Despite a sluggish start, the Polar Bears kept it a close game. The team managed to tie it at seven when forward Josiah Nikkel scored his third goal of the night with a minute and a half to go. But with 14.2 seconds left on the clock Davis scored on a breakaway to take the game 8-7.
The team suffered the same fate October 20 against rival Santa Clara University. In their Breast Cancer Awareness match, the team had trouble pulling it together against Santa Clara's impressive goalie. Both John Keshishian and Josiah Nikkel scored two goals apiece, but it was not enough. The Polar Bears lost 7-4.
Determined to end October better than they had started, the team took on Brigham Young University, Boise State and Western Washington University in Idaho October 26-28.
Hoping for a surge of energy, SRJC took the ice October 26 against BYU. The Polar Bears managed to garner a 5-4 win with a goal by defenseman Matt Schaben, his first in a Polar Bear uniform.
The next game against Boise State University was also another 5-4 win. Cam Davis scored two goals in the game and Josiah Nikkel's three points on the night brought his point total up to 26 on the season. The freshman forward has put up points in 9 of his first 10 games.
The team’s last match of October was against Western Washington University. Even though the team lost 9-3, things look brighter for the Polar Bears going into November.
"October was a challenge for our club. After a strong September, we were immediately impacted by the injury bug with key players going down with serious injuries," Coach Tom Billeter said. "We played banged up all of October, but we made adjustments and our guys salvaged two big wins in Idaho against good Division II clubs."
Next up for the Polar Bears is the Wine Country Collegiate Classic November 8-10. The team will host its second annual showcase at Snoopy's featuring the Bay Area Sharks (a Junior team), Metropolitan State University of Denver and Northern Arizona University.