UCSD vs EWU #1: First Spokane Showcase Showing
The first game of the four game weekend in Cheney, Washington saw UCSD fall to Eastern Washington University 11-4 in a chippy and physical game. The Tritons broke the ice with a goal by #2 Andrew Chua in the first period, only to fall behind 2-1 when EWU answered with two of their own. The second period saw an increase in the physical play on both sides with huge hits practically every shift, and an increase in penalties, as EWU took three and UCSD took four. The Tritons struggled with so many penalties to kill, the grim result of which was three power play goals for their opponents. And with yet another score from the EWU, UCSD went into the second period intermission dejected by their three point deficit, despite both #5 Nate Seekins and #6 Alexei Davis each putting one home. Regrettably, the third period saw a slew of penalties from both teams as the game degenerated into raw emotions, including eight penalties from EWU and seven from UCSD. Further, #12 Peter Dukakis, one of four Triton defensemen, got ejected from the game for a check from behind on a questionable call, shortening the UCSD bench at an inopportune time. Although #6 Alexei Davis was able to secure another goal late in the game, it was not enough to push back on the offensive hurricane that was EWU putting up another five goals before the final buzzer. Although the Tritons did not perform how they wanted to, they are hopeful that they can make it work by the end of the weekend with a little more discipline and a few less setbacks. What is certain is that the prospect of another game against EWU has the Tritons fired up for Saturday.
For the second game of the Washington Showcase, the Tritons battled Washington State University in a disappointing 6-2 loss. The first period started off strong with UCSD striking first with a goal from #2 Andrew Chua. However, WSU quickly responded with two of their own, granting them the lead going into the second period. That period saw two more goals from WSU, and UCSD’s shot tally fell dramatically to only six shots, not allowing them to counter. Although UCSD eventually got out of their scoring lull halfway through the third with a power play goal by #5 Nate Seekins, it was not enough to stop the WSU rush, which preceded to score another two goals in the third. Despite the frustrating loss, the Tritons were very proud of their goalie, #8 Alex Chen, who stepped up to the plate when starting goaltender #25 Oliver Detra was injured in the first game of the trip against EWU. UCSD is excited to battle WSU again later this weekend, convinced that this score does not represent their abilities and will not define their team either.
In their second and final matchup for the weekend against Eastern Washington University, the Tritons played a more controlled game, even opening scoring with a beauty from #9 CJ Girard. Although they were down three to one after the first, including a shorthanded goal from EWU, they were optimistic that they would use their cardio and skills to scratch their way back. The second period saw a pair of penalties for each team, all four with successful penalty kills. #9 CJ Girard got his second of the game, making it 3-2, before EWU afforded themselves a larger lead after two more goals. EWU continued their offensive push with another three goals unanswered, one of which was on the power play and one on the penalty kill, until #17 Emma Lhuillier clocked her first of the season with 47 seconds left in the game on the power play. Although dissatisfied with another loss, the Tritons are happy with their improvement from the last game, with less penalties and more offensive opportunities. Their last chance at victory in Spokane will come Sunday, and they plan to fly back with a W.
UCSD finished off the Spokane campaign with an exciting battle against Washington State University, resulting in a tough 3-2 loss. The first period saw the Tritons come out swinging, playing a physical and aggressive game. With three successful penalty kills, the Tritons consistently pushed the offensive rush and lead the period in shots. They punched in the first goal, scored by #6 Alexei Davis off a rebound late in the first period, granting them lead going into the second. WSU tied the game halfway through the second period and the Tritons quickly responded with a goal of their own, again by #6 Alexei Davis. Another WSU goal tied the game right before the end of the second. Despite a hard fought period, leading to a total shot count of 69 for the Tritons, a penalty shot granted their opponent a lead UCSD could not recover from. Although the Tritons are flying home on a loss, it was a strong showing of their grit in this game, one that marked the finish of a great Washington weekend as a team. The UCSD Ice Hockey team is now looking forward to their first of a two game series against UC Irvine.