After going winless in three games at the second annual Wine Country Collegiate Classic, the Polar Bears closed out November with a much needed 11-3 win over Stanford University on Friday.
Set with a healthy team, the Polar Bears attacked Stanford early; dominating both sides of the ice long enough to put the score at 3-0 by the end of the first period. The team put up three more goals in the second before Stanford managed to get one off SRJC goalie Jacob Pavsek. The freshman goalie went nearly two full periods before giving up a goal; an encouraging improvement from Pavsek’s last game in which he gave up eight.
Goalie Pat Vrba took over in relief of Pavsek and the Polar Bears added to the score. At the start of the third period, SRJC was up 8-1. The Polar Bears kept the intensity up in the period, something that has been a real challenge for the team. When all was said and done, SRJC took its first win since a 5-4 victory over Boise State University Oct. 27.
Several players had points in the game including Cam Davis (2 goals, 1 assist) and Don Coyle, who contributed three goals and one assist in his first game back from the injured list. Forward Josiah Nikkel put up five points, bringing his point total up to 39, and eight points came from the Polar Bears defense.
Now that players are healthy, the Polar Bears are able to fill key spots the team was left scrambling to fill these past two months. Players now have a better idea of what is expected of them.
"With consistent lines and systems, our team is already playing more organized on the ice and it's been very effective,” said coach Tom Billeter. “We're seeing the results we expect from such a talented group of guys. The next few months should be great for SRJC Hockey fans!"
The Polar Bears will take on UC Berkeley Dec. 2 at Berkeley’s home arena, followed by a Dec. 7 match at UC Davis. The team will return to Snoopy’s Home Ice Dec. 14 to play the University of Nevada in the last home game of 2012 before returning to competition in January.