Photo taken by: Christina Wigs
Not even 24 hours after suffering a crippling defeat to Santa Clara University, the SRJC Hockey team bounced back Jan. 9 for a huge 4-1 victory over its former rivals to stave off a season sweep.
Behind excellent goaltending by Chris Tomaszewski, the Polar Bears broke out in the second period with goals by Josiah Nikkel, Tim Buchter and David Lundgren.
Santa Clara tied it up shortly after Nikkel's shot, but that is all Tomaszewski allowed. The veteran netminder saved 23 of 24 shots on goal in his seventh win of the season.
Freshman Larry Hansen added a goal in the third period, a nice little tap in on the short side. That shot ups his under-the-radar point streak to four games, challenging Max Brownlee's current point streak that dates back to Nov. 6 (seven games).
SRJC's victory denied Santa Clara the three-game season sweep, ending the year with a 2-1 record.
While the Polar Bears still have some kinks to work out after losing two of their most productive forwards to injury-- Lane Beliveau (hip) and Matt Katicich (shoulder)-- this victory is just the shot the team needed as it continues into the second half.
"It was a really solid effort by everybody; a lot of guys stepped up, got more ice time and adjusted to different things asked of them --like shifting from forward to defense, vice versa, or skating on the power play. It was great getting back home and winning in front of our fans," said assistant captain Stephen Wolmarans. "It would have been nice to come out of the weekend with two wins, but with our packed schedule here on out, we're grateful to just come off with a win."
The Polar Bears now gear up for their final Southern California road trip of the season. They'll face College of the Canyons (Jan. 14) and Cal State Fullerton (Jan. 15-16), and neither game will come lightly. But SRJC knows what it needs to work on before heading on the road.
"We need to get more comfortable with our linemates, things have been shuffled around [because of injury], " Wolmarans said, who switch from forward to defense in the Jan. 9 game. "Getting used to new pairings will really help, cause a lot of guys weren't matched up in the first half. We need to work on that this week and move forward."