College of the Canyons went North on 1/11 and 1/12 in search of two signature victories that would cement them in the ACHA Division III Regional conversation. Instead they found a tough San Jose State University squad that was able to score on the power play almost at will, losing both games by scores of 9-5 and 7-2. The final score from both games does not reflect the entire story from the weekend. COC played four complete periods over the weekend, problem was they needed six.
Game one of the weekend started out an a decent pace with both teams feeling one another out for the first eight minutes of the game, this being their first matchup this season. The scoring got started 8:52 into the first period with a goal by Assistant Captain Ben Conroy on a nice setup by Captain Brian Voogt giving the Cougars an early lead. Canyons was able to build on that lead less than a minute later on a Corry Stevens goal at the 10:23 mark on an assist by Trevor Tracy. COC was however unable to hold on to the lead as San Jose State tied the game late in the first on goals by Kyle Dutra at 6:20 and Mason Console at with 30 seconds left in the first.
The second period started out with both teams trading goals. San Jose State struck first at 4:33 into the first on a goal by Christian Rendino. Canyons were able to tie the game back up at 3-3 on Ben Conroy’s second goal of the game with 13:01 to go in the second. SJSU was able to take is second lead of the game on a power play goal at 10:07 by Ian Seidl and expand the lead to two on Christian Rendino’s second tally with 7:37 remaining in the second frame. The two goal lead was short lived as COC got a goal from Cody Nieuwenhuis 46 seconds later to make it 5-4 San Jose State. This was the closest COC would get to tying the score as SJSU was able to capitalize on their next two power plays with goals by Sam Cimino and Seidl at 3:00 and 0:55 ending the second period up 7-4.
The third period opened with a quick goal by Ian Seidl, his third of the game, giving SJSU an 8-4 lead just 49 seconds into the final period. COC had their opportunity 5:11 into the final period with a full 2 minute 2 man advantage, however they were unable to slip one past Mario Retana, and SJSU was able to put the game completely out of reach with 10:43 remaining on a goal by Schuyler Krawczuk. COC was able to tally one more goal by Trevor Tracy to finish the game with a 9-5 loss.
Saturday night saw more of the same as SJSU was able to capitalize on their power play chances. The scoring opened with 6:11 to go in the first on a SJSU power play goal by Christian DeJesus while COC was trying to kill off their second too-many men penalty in the young game. The score would remain 1-0 thru the first two periods as neither team was able to score on the power play in the second.
The third period was the complete opposite of the second as there were five power play goals in total. The first was an SJSU power play goal at the 15:49 mark by Sam Cimino. COC was able to cut the lead in half on an even strength by Zach Flaschner just over a minute later at 14:34. This was as close as COC would get to making it a game as the Spartans were able to score on their next three power play opportunities with goals by Console, Rendino and Seidl, taking a commanding 5-1 lead. The Spartans DeJesus potted his second goal of the game with 6:02 remaining to give his team a 6-1 lead. COC was able to net a power play goal late in the third on a Ben Conroy shot, but would ultimately come up short as SJSU netted one more for good measure to win the game 7-2.
All in all COC played strong hockey against the number 7 team in ACHA DII West, but penalties were the ultimate deciding factor as SJSU was able to capitalize on 7 of their 11 opportunities.
COC plays their next six games at home at Ice Station Valencia including four games starting tonight at 7:30 as they take on DII Northern Arizona University, who is ranked number four in the West. Canyons will also host DIII Colorado State University (#2 Ranking) on Friday and Saturday at 7:30PM and San Jose State on Sunday at 11AM. All games can be watched online thru Black Dog Enterprises.
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