With last week’s 7-2 win over UC Berkeley still lingering on the ice, the SRJC hockey team will welcome its first division opponent of the season to Snoopy’s Home Ice tonight looking for another exciting victory.
The reigning Pacific Collegiate Hockey Association Champions will take on SJSU’s Division III squad tonight, a team the Polar Bears haven’t seen in competition since the 2011-12 season. In two games that year, SRJC outscored San Jose State 30-4.
While most of the point leaders from those matchups have moved on from SRJC, the team is confident its current roster will fare just as well. With its opening night win, the Polar Bears showed they know the right combination for success.
In the Berkeley game, 10 players scored points, including three each for leading forwards Josiah Nikkel and Adam Johnson. Five players- Matt Sullivan, Brandon Bronze, Ben Rivera, Jimmy Reed and Brian Cochran- each scored their first point in a Polar Bears uniform.
SRJC may have looked a little unsteady in the first few minutes, but for their first game back on the ice after a seven month offseason, the team is encouraged by its play and determined going forward.
“The team played really well against Berkeley,” said forward Chris Whitten, whose second period goal put SRJC up 5-1. “There was some rust left over from the offseason, but in practice this week we focused on structure and positioning. Now we can get everyone on the same page and work better as a unit.”
The Polar Bear’s defense of the PCHA championship title begins tonight at 8:30 p.m. at Snoopy’s Home Ice. As always, admission is free.
The first puck drop of the Polar Bear’s 2013-14 campaign is only days away and with a schedule full of tough competition this season, SRJC will host 25 talented players in its quest for a national title.
Early last season, SRJC struggled to put together a cohesive game plan with a squad full of new skaters. But with 14 returning players ready to lead the team, lack of experience will not be an issue this season.
The offense looks promising with top forwards Josiah Nikkel and John Keshishian returning to the ice. Nikkel led the team in points (70), while Keshishian scored 22 goals in 24 games played. Fan favorite Adam Johnson will also return to Snoopy’s Home Ice to continue his impressive play from last season. After rejoining SRJC in the second half of the year, Johnson dominated the ice with nine goals and 21 assists in only 10 games.
Rounding out the core offense are forwards Jackson Joyce, Willis Swift, Lucas Weeks and Chris Whitten. Santa Rosa native Matt Sullivan highlights the list of six impressive rookies ready to compete for ice time.
One key to the Polar Bears success this season will be its veteran defense. Marcel Delagnes, Blake Johnson, Steven Dempsey, Alex De Vaughn and Andreas Rahm will all suit up again for SRJC, providing leadership to four new defensemen.
Guarding the net this season will be returning goalies Jacob Pavsek and Chris Tomaszewski. In his first season with SRJC, Pavsek had a 5.47 goals against average (GAA) and a .80 save percentage. Tomaszewski, who took over in the second half of last season, owned a .79 save percentage with a 3. 85 GAA.
SRJC will carry a third goaltender in San Diego native Troy Tennison. The rookie goalie had an impressive preseason and is expected to challenge Pavsek and Tomaszewski for playing time.
With a mixture of proven skaters and hungry rookies, the SRJC hockey team is primed for the challenging matchups that lie ahead. Every single player is ready to put on a show and Polar Bear fans are sure to have at least one favorite player this season.
A complete roster listing can be found at www.SantaRosaHockey.com/Roster
Article by: Keshia Knight, SRJC Hockey Staff Writer.
Great news! From September 12th to 17th the Polar Bears announced that in preparation for the upcoming season, Free Shipping at the SRJC Hockey online shop!
Purchase any two products from the SRJC Hockey Shop and get free standard shipping! Just Enter Promo Code FALL2013 at check out. This is a perfect opportunity to get your SRJC Ice Hockey apparel in time for the new season to kick start on September 21st.