Though winter is drawing near, San Diego temperatures usuallydon’t drop low enough for things to freeze over. That’s why itprobably comes as a surprise to most San Diego State students whenthey hear about the school’s ice hockey team.
“What hockey team?” you say. The one who offered tough competitionin its seventh game last Friday against Long Beach State.
SDSU (1-5-1) could not add a number to the win column as it playedhost to its biggest rival at the Iceoplex in Escondido. The Aztecslost 2-1 in sudden death overtime to CSULB.
The contest remained scoreless until late in the first period. Aglorious moment for SDSU happened at 15:23, when Aztecs defenderMarcus Teufel received a pass from the top corner of the ice and putthe puck past the 49ers goalie.
Teufel said the pitch to him was right on target.
“The puck came perfectly to the middle of my stick,” Teufel said.”There was nothing stopping me, so I shot, and the puck went rightbetween the goalies skates.”
SDSU led the game for the rest of the first period and well intothe second one. But that doesn’t mean it was all fun and games. Thereferees seemed to be on the prowl. Both teams received numerouspenalties throughout the entire competition — a total of 75 minutesof box time was shared by both teams.
Despite the blows by the refs, both teams continued to battle forthe win. With only two minutes left in the second period, CSULB cameback to tie the game at 1-1.
Teammate Al Seiter said goaltender Corey Choate stood out in thecompetition.
“Corey had 23 shots on him and only gave up two,” Seiter said. “Heplayed very well and really helped keep up the level of competition.”
The third period offered no way out for either teams. Bothcontenders took plenty of shots, but none made it to the back of thenet. When the buzzer sounded, the game was still tied. This is whenhearts started to beat faster and players’ minds went into overtimemode — sudden death overtime mode.
The next five minutes would be intense, because one team wouldskate off the ice in victory after just one goal. SDSU and the 49ersbattled it out for three minutes and 10 seconds. Then at 3:11 insudden-death overtime, the Aztecs hope for a win froze up. Thetie-breaking goal came from CSULB with less than two minutes left onthe clock.
Seiter said SDSU was disappointed with the loss.
“It was a rough game and low scoring,” Seiter said. “We playedtight, but LBSU was tough competition. We wanted to beat them prettybad.”
The Aztecs club soccer team fared better in its weekendcompetition against CSULB. The women (5-0-6) swept the 49ers 4-0 atthe Sports Deck last Saturday.
Goalie Liz Valla said the win was important for SDSU.
“We needed to get our momentum back up,” Valla said. “We needed ahigh impact game and that was what this weekend gave us.”
Things got hot fast in the match. The Aztecs’ first goal cameearly from Krystle “Alaska” Hanto. She didn’t have much troubledribbling past CSULB defenders, as she bolted the ball into the net.
As SDSU dominated the game at 1-0, another Aztec stepped up toincrease the lead. Nikki Miller put one past the 49er goalie aftershe juked most of her opposition.
“Nikki dribbled around a lot of the Long Beach women,” Valla said.”She tricked all of them and then shot on their last line of defense,and won the goal.”
After halftime, SDSU was ahead 2-0 and was ready to pound on CSULBsome more. Miller scored quickly at the start of the second half andKatie Louwsma added another point, increasing her team’s lead to 4-0.
Valla didn’t get knocked around too much, as the 49ers rarely gotpassed the Aztecs defenders. SDSU only permitted a few shots on thegoal, allowing them to become the victors.
Valla said the fans are what helped the Aztecs win the contest.
“The fan support totally pumped us up,” Valla said. “They all hadsigns and were screaming and yelling for us. They were so awesome anddeserve some recognition.”
SDSU competes next week at the NIRSA National Championships inAustin, Texas.