By: Keshia Knight, SRJC Hockey Staff Writer
With a 10-3 win over Santa Clara University Jan. 19, the SRJC Hockey team now holds the number one spot in the Pacific Collegiate Hockey Association.
After taking down UC San Diego Jan. 18, SRJC faced Santa Clara the next day at Snoopy’s Home Ice. The Polar Bears controlled the ice right out the gate with an early goal by forward Don Coyle and one on a power play by John Keshishian. Despite a couple of penalties and a two-man advantage for Santa Clara, defenseman Bryan Vrba closed out the first period with a goal to put SRJC up 3-0.
Alexi Kulikouskiy scored to extend the lead in the second period, followed by a goal by Blake Johnson, who has contributed either a goal or an assist in five of his last six games. Santa Clara broke the shutout with their first goal of the night off Polar Bears goalie Pat Vrba later in the period. Pat was replaced with Jacob Pavsek, who gave up a goal on a power play. Defenseman Sam Davis got the point back with a little under three minutes left in the period to make it, 7-2.
Santa Clara scored on another power play in the third, but SRJC forward Cam Davis scored his second goal of the period to finalize the score 10-3.
With two weeks left in competition, SRJC has regained the dominance displayed earlier this season. The recent wins have been accredited to the new recruits who pulled together the roster and added more depth. As Sam puts it, “The team camaraderie and excitement for games is at an all-time high; we’ve greased the wagon wheels.”
With games against UC Davis and Stanford University this weekend, the Polar Bears know what needs to happen to keep this win streak alive.
“You gotta want it more than the other team. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard,” Sam said. “We need to carry over this momentum into each game. If this group continues to play with intensity and a 100 percent effort, we will be successful.”
The Polar Bears will play their last home game of the season this Saturday against Stanford. This will be the last home game in a Polar Bears uniform for several players and the team urges fans to come out and celebrate another exciting season of SRJC hockey. The puck drops at 8:30 p.m. at Snoopy’s, and as always, admission is free.