Hockey continues dominance against Long Beach State, improves to 19-3-1

Senior+defender+Devyn+Taras+leads+the+pack+of+players+looking+to+gain+possession+of+the+puck+during+SDSU%27s+4-2+win+on+Dec.+6+at+Lakewood+Ice+in+Long+Beach%2C+CA.
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Hockey continues dominance against Long Beach State, improves to 19-3-1

Senior defender Devyn Taras leads the pack of players looking to gain possession of the puck during SDSU's 4-2 win on Dec. 6 at Lakewood Ice in Long Beach, CA.

Senior defender Devyn Taras leads the pack of players looking to gain possession of the puck during SDSU's 4-2 win on Dec. 6 at Lakewood Ice in Long Beach, CA.

Amber Salas

Senior defender Devyn Taras leads the pack of players looking to gain possession of the puck during SDSU's 4-2 win on Dec. 6 at Lakewood Ice in Long Beach, CA.

Amber Salas

Amber Salas

Senior defender Devyn Taras leads the pack of players looking to gain possession of the puck during SDSU's 4-2 win on Dec. 6 at Lakewood Ice in Long Beach, CA.

by Amber Salas, Staff Writer

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San Diego State hockey defeated Long Beach State for the third time this season by a final score of 4-2 on the road at Lakewood Ice on Dec. 6. 

In three matchups, the Aztecs have outscored the 49ers by a total of 21-6.  

In the Aztec’s home game on Nov. 23 against the 49ers, the team debuted a new line which included sophomore Derian Theberge, sophomore Mickey Sullivan and freshman Blake Reed. 

Theberge passed the puck to Sullivan who scored two back-to-back goals within seconds. That momentum set the tone for the strength this line would bring. 

On Friday, that same line continued their momentum as Reed scored the Aztecs’ first goal of the night: 57 seconds into the first period. 

 SDSU head coach Phil Bateman explained his decision to continue to play its line. 

“I think it really just was to build off of (their performance) two weeks ago,” he said. “They just play well together. Mickey is a smart player, Derian is an aggressive player, and to put Blake in the middle of them makes it a dangerous line.” 

Reed’s first goal got his line hot which carried throughout the remainder of the first period. Theberge got his first goal of the night assisted by Reed, and sophomore Michael Pellegrino was able to bring a goal which gave the Aztecs a 3-0 lead at the end of the first period.  

The Aztecs (19-3-1, PAC 8 Conference) continued their dominance through the second period as sophomore Blake Reed scored an unassisted goal – his second of the night to give the Aztecs the 4-0 lead. 

“I think our speed, the fact that we forecheck really well and the fact that we moved the puck super well tonight is what made us score a few goals out there,” Reed said. 

Sophomore goalie Nick Ilvento was able to hold the 49ers to zero goals after two periods of play despite numerous Aztec mistakes. The Aztecs committed a total of 13 penalties throughout the game to give the 49ers 26 minutes of power play. 

The penalties are ultimately what allowed the 49ers (5-10-1, PAC 8 Conference) to score their two power-play goals on Ilvento in the third period. 

“As soon as they got on him a little bit I think he lost his focus,” Bateman said. “He’s still a young goalie. As soon as there becomes a lot of minutia around him he gets taken out of his space.” 

Reed added their penalty kill defensive line is what keeps the Aztecs in the game.

“We have a bunch of guys that are good on the kill like Roselli, Hoy, Perez,” Reed said of the penalty kill line. “All those guys are really good at it and it helps us every game.”

This win puts the Aztecs at 19 wins this season and only one win away from hitting 20 wins, which has never been done in the 45-year history of the program.

The Aztecs will take a break for the holidays and return to the ice in a series against Iowa Jan. 11, 2020 at Pechanga Sports Arena for a special event with the San Diego Gulls. For tickets and more information visit https://www.fevo.com/edp/SDSU-vs-University-of-Iowa–San-Diego-Gulls-vs-Ontario-Reign-XeeQaPDZ.

Update: This article was updated on Dec. 10 3:03 p.m. to note the change of venue and addition of a special event with the San Diego Gulls for the game against Iowa.

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