It’s early in the season, but the Polar Bears are already on a roll with two wins in as many games. With an 8-4 win over Cal Sept. 20, and Thursday’s 6-2 College of the Canyons victory, the Polar Bears have a quick 2-0 record.
Last Saturday’s 6-2 win against UC Berkeley was just what the team needed after struggling in four preseason games. John Keshishian scored a hat trick early in the game, paving way for five veteran teammates to pad the score. Chris Whitten put up two goals in the game, with Josiah Nikkel, Jackson Waldron and Steve Wolmarins each adding one goal. Rookies Matt Kiticich and Colin Ridenour scored their first points in an SRJC uniform; Kiticich assisted Waldron’s second period goal, while Ridenour passed off to both Whitten and Keshishian’s second goals.
That opening night win propelled the Polar Bears into their first road trip, matching up against Southern California nemesis College of the Canyons Sept. 25 for the first match of a two-game series.
It was a battle for the first 10 minutes, but SRJC scored first with two goals by defensemen Brandon Bronze and Blake Johnson. Sophomore forward Jackson Waldron scored to end the first period with the Polar Bears on top, 3-0. Waldron added another goal in the second period for a 4-1 lead.
“I felt great out there tonight,” Waldron said, who has three goals and an assist in two games. “Playing with Andrew [Mason] and Matt [Kiticich] made things easy or me. We were clicking as a line and just grinding away.”
Alex De Vaughn and Keshishian added a goal in the third period, both assisting on each other’s goals along with help from Bronze (Keshishian’s goal) and Nikkel (De Vaughn’s). In the end, SRJC won 6-2.
In two games against COC last year and Thursday night’s win, the Polar Bears have outscored the team 26-6, with two games left to play this season. Despite a clear offensive swing in SRJC’s favor, the Polar Bears know it could be anyone’s game and are concentrating on what they need to do to come out victorious.
“We need to come out hard and fast tomorrow, hit them early and often,” Waldron said. “They [COC] don’t want to lose two in a row in their barn, but if we play our system, we’ll be coming out with another win.”
The Polar Bears will face COC at 7:30 p.m. Friday night before finishing their road trip at 9 p.m. Saturday against CSU Fullerton’s Division II team.