San Diego State Hockey’s Scoring Flutters in Losses to Oregon Ducks

Junior forward Blake Bowen during the weekend series against the Oregon Ducks (Photo Courtesy of SDSU Hockey)

SDSU Hockey

Junior forward Blake Reed during the weekend series against the Oregon Ducks (Photo Courtesy of SDSU Hockey).

by Joshua Frojelin, Contributor

Entering their two-game series against the Oregon Ducks (4-0, 2-0 Pac-8), the San Diego State Men’s Ice Hockey team (0-2, 0-2 Pac-8) aimed to open with a statement win over the defending PAC-8 champions.

However, the Scarlet and Black were unable to get off to that ideal start as the Aztecs fell to the Ducks in back-to-back one-goal contests on route to the 0-2 start. Head coach Phillip Bateman, on his team’s slow start in their first series of the season, lamented “There’s no substitution or replication for game speed… so timing is always gonna be an issue to start.”

The first game — a 4-3 defeat in which SDSU lacked an even-strength goal — saw the Aztecs need to utilize their special teams.

The Aztecs struggled early, being outshot 19-3 in the first 20 minutes. However, SDSU’s defense could not withstand the Oregon attack for long.

After an early 2-0 deficit, SDSU utilized a 5-on-3 and ensuing 5-on-4 power play to level the game. Juniors Cole Kosowski and Blake Reed netted their first goals of the season.

Then, the Aztecs fell behind again as consecutive, costly turnovers resulted in the Ducks regaining their two-goal lead.

Late in the third period, Kosowski netted another power-play goal. His presence down low on the man-advantage was able to keep the Aztecs in the game. Bateman noted his “tremendous ability to finish” as a key in keeping the team competitive.

Unfortunately, the Aztecs could not keep up with the Ducks in the last half of the third and fell 4-3.

In the second game, the Aztecs still struggled to score at even strength. Irresponsible play and turnovers led to their 2-0 deficit entering the third period.

Then, freshman Christopher Dauria found first-year Marcus Kim crashing to the net shorthanded for the team’s first goal halfway through the final frame.

That goal cut the Ducks lead in half, but ultimately Oregon’s one-goal cushion was all the team needed. 

Despite over 70 shots faced, senior netminder Nick Ilvento finished with an above .900 save percentage but two losses.

However, Bateman said the weekend still had positives for his team. The coach had high praise for both freshmen forwards Dauria and Kim, in addition to commending freshmen blueliners Jerrett Overland and Jack Anderson who “had strong defensive weekends” utilized as the team’s “shutdown pair.”

Close losses against the dynamic Ducks is not a huge detriment to the Aztecs’ lofty expectations for this season. Bateman said these two clubs “might be a cut above the rest” and are likely “the two teams that will be battling for the automatic spot to (Division II) nationals.”

Now 0-2, SDSU will return to Southern California for a two-game series against Long Beach State University. Facing a new opponent, the Aztecs must reassert themselves as contenders in the Pac-8 Conference.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email