A day after securing their eighth straight win, the SRJC hockey team came up short in a 6-4 loss to Arizona State University last night.
The Polar Bears battled hard in their first match of a four-game road series, beating College of the Canyons 10-4 October 24. Forward Chris Whitten wowed SRJC fans in attendance as he scored four goals, and both Dylan Dixon and Josiah Nikkel continued their point streaks.
SRJC rolled into ASU Friday night, looking to stay undefeated on the season. The first period started out in the team’s favor as the Polar Bears scored a power play goal to take an early lead. By the end of first, they were up 3-1. But ASU tied it up in the second period, taking three goals from Chris Tomaszewski for a 4-4 score. ASU tacked on two more goals by the final buzzer, handing SRJC its first loss of the season. Forward Adam Johnson scored two goals for the Polar Bears, along with one goal each for Nikkel and Whitten.
There is no time to dwell on the loss for SRJC as it heads over to Northern Arizona University for two games to close out the weekend. NAU currently has a 3-2 record on the season and just came off an 8-3 win over UCLA. The last time the Polar Bears faced NAU was November 2012 in an 8-4 loss during the Wine Country Collegiate Classic.
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
A week after defeating Stanford University 15-3, the Polar Bears shutout the team 10-0 on Stanford’s home ice last night to improve to a 7-0 record.
The rematch of the October 12 game started with some confusion on the ice, but that didn’t stop forward Chris Whitten from taking advantage to make it an early 1-0 game. Jackson Joyce followed it up with his third goal of the year, along with Brian Cochran, Marcel Delagnes and Blake Johnson, to cap a six goal lead at the end of the first period.
Both teams struggled with inconsistency in the second period, with the Polar Bears managing to score only once on a shot by forward Josiah Nikkel. SRJC fared better in the third, closing it out with three more goals to secure the shutout. Goalie Troy Tennison earned his second win of the season, blocking 11 shots on goal. He has seen increased playing time, logging nearly 200 minutes in the net in five games.
“I feel good so far; the team has played very well, so it’s easy to be confident going into every game,” Tennison said. “The shutout reflects the awesome chemistry we have as a unit and that we can finish the game strong all the way to the end.”
In the game, nine different players scored goals with a total of 14 player assists. Dylan Dixon continued his point streak (six games) with one goal and three assists, along with Josiah Nikkel (seven games) who contributed one goal and two assists. This game marked the first match of the season for returning player Sam Davis, who scored a goal in the third period.
“It feels great to be home with all the boys. I love playing hockey and spending time with my 20 best friends,” Davis said. “We have an unreal group of guys who are here to work hard towards a common goal. We’re very excited and ready to battle some highly-skilled teams through the next stretch of our season.”
Next week, the Polar Bears will go on a four game road trip to take on College of the Canyons (CoC), Northern Arizona University (NAU) and Arizona State University.
Last season, NAU took part in the team’s Wine Country Collegiate Classic, winning 8-4. SRJC hasn’t seen CoC since the 2011-12 season, which the Southern California team won 7-4. Three players-Adam Johnson, Blake Johnson and John Keshishian- scored a point in that game and are still with the team. This will be the first time SRJC will see ASU’s Division II team and former goalie Danny Roy.
“This road trip is huge. Our season rides on us winning these games but I am confident in our abilities as a team. We’re ready to go,” Jackson Joyce said, adding that he is “fully torqued for this roadie,” and excited to face some tough teams he’s never seen before.
The Polar Bears will head to Valencia, Calif. to play CoC October 24, before heading to Arizona to face ASU (Oct.25) and NAU (Oct. 26-27). Fans can stay up-to-date here and on the team’s social media pages.
Saturday's Santa Rosa Junior College Ice hockey game vs UC Santa Barbara has been cancelled due to undisclosed reasons from UC Santa Barbaras management team.
The Santa Rosa Junior College Polar Bears are in the process of setting up a scrimmage to replace the 8:30pm October 19th game but nothing has been officially announced by the team.
It hasn’t even been a month into the new season and already the Polar Bears have six wins and are proving to be the team to beat.
After two home victories SRJC embarked on its first road game to face UC Davis October 4. The Polar Bears notched five goals against the enemy goalie before giving up two goals in the second period. SRJC put three more on the board in the third; just enough to edge an 8-7 win. Forward Dylan Dixon scored three goals in the game, with Adam Johnson (1 goal, 1 assist), John Keshishian (1 goal, 2 assists), Josiah Nikkel (2 goals) and Chris Whitten (1 goal) also contributing.
The next day SRJC returned to home and treated fans to a complete annihilation of Sacramento State University. Three players- Steven Dempsey, Josiah Nikkel and Alex De Vaughn- scored three goals each and Jackson Waldron scored his first goal in a Polar Bears jersey to highlight a 17-2 win.
“It was nice getting my first goal to go along with all the guys that chipped in for the win. It was really great to see Dempsey score that hat trick,” Waldron said. “We were focused on running our systems and feel pretty good going into the next game- we know we aren’t going to get anything easy.”
In the team’s second road game of the season October 11, SRJC played a rematch against UC Berkeley. Defensemen Blake Johnson opened with a shot passed the Cal goalie to give the Polar Bears a lead they wouldn’t give up. Dylan Dixon added two more before Cal scored one off SRJC’s Chris Tomaszewski. Jackson Joyce would get the point back with a goal to end the first period.
Polar Bear rookie Troy Tennison took over the net in the second period, allowing a Berkeley power play goal to get passed him to cut SRJC’s lead to two goals. Another power play goal by Cal later in the period would put the score at 5-3 heading into the final period. Berkeley challenged the Polar Bears for the lead, but Keshishian and Joyce added two more goals to close out the game. In the end it was SRJC on top, 7-4.
The Polar Bears faced Stanford University for the first time this season October 12 at home. SRJC struck first with a goal by defensemen Brian Cochran before Stanford took goalie Jacob Pavsek for two back-to-back goals. Pavsek silenced Stanford in the second as John Keshishian scored three goals for a total of eight unanswered goals in the period. Tomaszewski relieved Pavsek right before the third period and allowed Stanford one goal to end the game, 15-3.
While the Polar Bears have had great offensive success so far, SRJC is not taking any team they face lightly. Steven Dempsey- who has contributed 5 goals, 4 assists- says these first games have allowed the team to come together both on and off the ice.
“We have some important games coming up against talented teams and everyone is chomping at the bit to play in those games and get a real taste of what we are capable of achieving,” he said. “We thrive on the competition and are looking forward to using our depth and talent to make a strong showing this year. We definitely have national ambitions.”
SRJC will travel October 18 for a rematch against Stanford. The team’s scheduled home game against UC Santa Barbara the next day has been cancelled, but team officials are looking to organize a scrimmage for fans to enjoy. A four-game road trip October 24-27 is expected to challenge the team before heading home to Snoopy’s Home Ice November 2. Fans are encouraged to check the team’s social media sites for game updates.