|The #8 Spartans played host to #12 Cal State Fullerton, Oregon, and #14 Cal State Northridge last weekend from Sharks Ice.
The Cal State Northridge Matadors ended up winning the showcase with an impressive 3-0 run. Cal State Fullerton went 2-1, the Spartans finished 1-2, and Oregon ended up 0-3.
First up for San Jose State was #12 Cal State Fullerton. The Spartans last game had been against Fullerton - and the Spartans were still feeling the effects. Nicholas Matejovsky and Schuyler Krawczuk were both out for the game, serving their one game disqualifications. Meanwhile, Keanu Deguchi was ruled academically ineligible, and Spencer Archer was recovering from an illness. This left the Spartans without four of their top six forwards Friday.
Judging from the first period of the game against the Titans, you wouldn't have known the Spartans were missing anyone. San Jose State came out strong, taking the lead on a 2-on-1 goal finished off by Sam Shayesteh. Christian Rendino fed him the pass, while Ian Seidl earned the secondary assist.
Three minutes later, Cody Murphy put the Spartans up by two with an unassisted goal. Then, with 7:41 left, Christian Rendino earned a goal of his own on the powerplay, with Murphy and Zach McKeithan picking up the assists. It was McKeithan's first point with the D2 Spartans, after enjoying plenty of success on the D3 squad. He was called up for the game along with Patrick Melville, who also had a solid night.
From there on, however, the Spartans started to fade. Alec Censullo got the Titans on the board late in the first, an again early in the second period. Brandon Booth tied the game at 3-3 heading to the third period, and David Marabella scored 1:42 into the third period, which would end up as the game winner, giving Fullerton the 4-3 victory. The Spartans outshot Fullerton by a 39-31 margin.
Coming off the loss, the Spartans got a boost with the returns of Matejovsky, Krawczuk and Archer for the game against the Oregon Ducks. Again the Spartans came out strong, getting a goal 8:32 into the game by Christian Rendino, with Murphy picking up the only assist. Krawczuk gave the Spartans a 2-0 lead with just 32 seconds left, getting the goal assissted by Luke Schneider and Michael Stivers.
The Ducks were able to respond on the next shift, scoring just 18 seconds later on a goal by Nick Sciabarra. After one, it was 2-1 SJSU.
The Spartans expanded that lead to 4-1 with goals from Schneider, assisted by Murphy, and Matejovsky. Matejovsky's goal was assisted by Jacob Hickey, his first point since returning from injury, and Brant Haddon, who earned his first point of the season.
Again, however, the Spartans faded in the second half of the game. Alex Sullitzer had two goals in the second period, bringing the Ducks within one goal. They nearly tied the game during a scramble in the crease with only 12 seconds left in the game, but Mario Retana and Cody Murphy combined to somehow keep the puck out. Retana stopped 39 of 42 Oregon shots as the Spartans skated to the 4-3 victory.
On Sunday, back-up netminder Eddie Berlin got the call against #14 Cal State Northridge. He had a tough game ahead of him as the speedy Matadors were able to slice through the Spartans defense. Patrick Nelson of the Matadors completed a hat-trick just past the midway point of the game. It was nearly a natural hat-trick, but that was spoiled by Spencer Archer's goal a few minutes before, picking up the goal with the assists going to Matejovsky and Murphy. Berlin was pulled in favor of Retana
Matejovsky would then get the Spartans back within one goal 4:47 into the third period on a goal assisted by Archer and Krawczuk. SJSU put on a good push, but the comeback attempt was spoiled by a couple of late penalties. Murphy and Rendino both found themselves in the box in the final few minutes of the game. Northridge took advantage of the 5-on-3 powerplay with a goal by Josh Escoe that shut the door on the Spartans. SJSU fell 4-2, and finished the weekend 1-2.