While it is still early in the season, the Polar Bears have already put up some out-of-this world numbers.
After seven games, the Polar Bears are undefeated with a 5-0 PCHA division record. They’ve outscored opponents 82-20, thanks in part to the team’s superior chemistry and its faithful fan base.
There is no better place to play than Snoopy’s Home Ice and the team’s four straight home victories prove just how electric the rink is. There have been four offensive-heavy home matches, with three double-digit wins; no doubt the boisterous SRJC hockey fans create an unbelievable energy to feed off.
At home, goalies Chris Tomaszewski, Jacob Pavsek and Troy Tennison haven’t allowed more than three goals with their teammates netting near 14.25 goals a game.
Leading the offense are forwards Josiah Nikkel (11 goals, 7 assists), Dylan Dixon (11 goals, 8 assists), John Keshishian (10 goals, 6 assists) and Adam Johnson (8 goals, 7 assists). Nikkel and Dixon each have point streaks, with Nikkel at seven games and Dixon at six. All nine rookie players have scored their first goal in an SRJC uniform and six players- Nikkel, Keshishian, Dixon, Steven Dempsey, Chris Whitten and Alex De Vaughn- have earned hat tricks.
While the offense seems to be lining up, the team knows it cannot take any victory for granted.
“It’s rewarding to have success on the scoreboard but hockey starts and ends with hard work,” Dempsey said. “You have to be doing everything right for the goals to matter. You have to do your best to enjoy the good times when they come around and work hard to keep them coming.”
And work hard they must. The Polar Bears have fared well at home, but has only averaged 8.3 goals in three road games. With four important away games this week, SRJC needs to find that same offensive spark it has at Snoopy’s. Playing four games in four days against very stiff competition means the team would need to average at least six more goals to compete at the same level.
But more than anything, the Polar Bears have to watch their penalties total. Already the team has been slapped with more than 50 penalties, with three players serving one-game suspensions. Despite the inflated penalty minutes, SRJC has killed off all but 10 opponent power plays while scoring seven shorthanded goals. As impressive as that is, the Polar Bears need to keep out of the penalty box.
It may be early in the season but things look very promising going forward. The team dynamic is unbelievably strong and its determination to win is evident every time players take the ice. The next few games will be challenging, but fans can be assured SRJC will put up a good fight.
For 2013-2014 SRJC Ice Hockey team statistics go to : http://achahockey.org/player_roster.php?team_id=173654&league_id=1063