Triton Roller Hockey Opens Season in San Jose
San Jose, CA- The UC San Diego Roller Hockey Club opened their season this past weekend (October 24, 2015) looking to continue being a Western Division powerhouse. The Tritons, who went 15-1 and finished in the final four at nationals last season played their first games of the 2015-2016 season against UC Berkeley, West Valley Community College, UC Santa Cruz, and Chico state.
After losing multiple seniors due to graduation, the new-look San Diego team took on the Cal Bears to start the tournament. The first two periods of the game were very evenly matched with three goals being scored by each team. In the third period however, the 5 man UCSD squad had trouble keeping pace with the fast skating Berkeley team and the Tritons found themselves down by two goals with just six minutes left to play. Third year veterans Jeremy Fong, Dylan Shives, and Grant Marcy dug deep in the last two minutes of the game and the trio combined to score two goals, with the tying goal coming with just 16 seconds left in regulation to force overtime. The Tritons would eventually fall in overtime, but still managed to gain a point in the standings.
The second game of the tournament was against West Valley Community College, a new team to the WCRHL. This hard fought defensive battle was another game that saw back and forth goals through the first two periods which set up an intense finish to the game. UCSD looked exhausted and couldn’t seem to get control of the puck in the third period but senior goaltender Peter Simonsen was able to keep it close making 14 saves in the third period and 34 total in the game. However, an unlucky bounce with just six minutes to play in the game proved to be too much to overcome for the Tritons as they eventually fell 4-3.
UC San Diego looked to bounce back in their third game of the tournament as they played UC Santa Cruz, the team that eliminated them from the regional playoffs last season. The Tritons came out looking determined and outshot the Banana Slugs 12-5 in the first period and jumping out to an early 2-0 lead. UCSD would continue their strong play throughout the rest of the game and finish with a commanding 6-1 win with junior transfer Pat Salmas scoring three.
The last game of the tournament was against a strong Chico State team that had already won their first games of the tournament. San Diego was able to carry their momentum from their previous win into this game as they jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first period. Chico State regrouped during the intermission and scored 5 goals while UCSD only managed to net 2. Once again the 5 man Triton team entered the third period with the score tied. Early in the third frame, Dylan Shives scores his fifth goal of the game giving San Diego a slight lead, but the Wildcats bounced right back and tied the game to force overtime. Just minutes into overtime, Jeremy Fong managed to squeak a shot past the Chico goalie to give UC San Diego a 7-6 victory.
The UC San Diego Roller Hockey Club looks to continue their winning streak in two weeks when they will play their only home games of the season. Come support Triton hockey on Saturday, November 7, 2015 as they will play back-to-back games against University of San Diego at Skate San Diego in El Cajon at 11:00am and 1:00pm.