In their last home game of 2013, the SRJC hockey team beat Santa Clara University 10-2 to sweep its Pacific Collegiate Hockey Association rivals this season.
Before Saturday’s game, the current PCHA champions had beaten five out of six of its division opponents by big margin victories. Despite losing their home match against Santa Clara last year, the Polar Bears were confident they’d get lucky division win number six.
Forward Jackson Joyce put the Polar Bears on the board after a laser shot passed by defensemen Eric Zagacki. The lead was short lived as Santa Clara scored two goals off Polar Bear goalie Troy Tennison. Santa Clara seemed to have SRJC’s number but the team regained its momentum as John Keshishian and Dylan Dixon scored to end the first period. From there, Tennison shut the door on Santa Clara as his teammates padded the score.
The Polar Bears have been working on their power play in practice and it paid off in the last two periods of the game. Rookie Jimmy Reed found the back of the net with an assist from Keshishian to end the second period, and defensemen Steven Dempsey closed out the game with a goal on the man advantage. In total, SRJC added seven goals in the final two frames to secure the win over its PCHA opponent.
Keshishian ended the night with two goals, two assists; Chris Whiten had one goal, two assists; and Dixon, one goal, two assists. Josiah Nikkel ended his 16-game point streak, while Tennison saved 16 of 18 shots in his fifth win of the season.
“I think it was obvious in the first period that we were still tired from the showcase, but we took care of business and that’s what matters most,” Jimmy Reed said. “We’ll use the momentum from these last games to bring our game up and keep it at a high level for nationals.”
The Polar Bears will close out the first half of the season with three road games against PCHA teams, including two this weekend versus Sacramento State University and the San Jose State Division III team.
“Knowing that we have beat teams that we have played before gives us confidence in playing them,” Reed said, “but we can’t underestimate them because every game counts.”
For updates from this weekend’s games, please stay tuned to the team’s social media pages.