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Photo courtesy of Medina Wali
10/08/15 - Spartans Go .500 on First Road Trip of the Year
By Chad Oklin-Jolin & the Staff
Friday 10/2 @Boise State
The San Jose State Hockey team opened up their ACHA Division II schedule Friday October 4th in Boise, Idaho, when they took on the Boise State Broncos.

The Spartans came out of the gates sluggish, while Boise came out with a level of physicality that the Spartans had a tough time matching throughout the game. The Spartans fought back during the course of the game but the deficit eventually became too much as the Spartans fell at the hands of the broncos by the final of 6-3.

The trip out to Boise was anything but routine for the Spartans. San Jose State planned to arrive at the hotel in Boise around 1 AM Friday morning, giving the players all Friday to rest and get ready for the game. Fate had other plans for the team however, when the alternator belt on the bus became loose and fell off.

The unforeseen stop put the Spartans in a bind, as they had to wait for a new bus or a repair man to come to their aid. In the end the team decided to stay the night at a motel in Winnemuca, Nevada. Turning a 15 hour trip into a 25 hour ordeal. When asked about the incident former Spartan player and current General Manager Winston Adams was adamant in saying that “we can’t blame anything on the trip, but to say that it had no effect on the players; well that is just incorrect.”

The Spartans were blitzed out of the gate, as the Broncos put up two goals in the first ten minutes of the contest. First, a booming slap shot of the stick of Greg Chapman found the back of the net less than three minutes into the game. At the 11:37 mark of the 1st the Broncos used some trickery to separate themselves from the Spartans. On a Spartans power play, Bronco forward Lucas Nukaya-Heady slipped out behind the defense and received a cross-ice pass from Matt Sanford that Heady was able to settle and put behind Spartan goalie Mario Retana.

With the score 3-0, the Spartans final found their legs and started their comeback. San Jose State opened their scoring on an unassisted power play goal from Schuyler Krawczuk to bring the score to 3-1 with 13 minutes left in the second period. With 4:08 left in the second the Spartans would pull within one when a Sam Shayestah pass sent Patrick Melville off to the races on his way to a backhand finish just outside of the slot.

The Spartans just did not have quite enough in the tank to finish this game out as they gave up another goal only 20 seconds after the Melville tally, to make the score 4-2 at the end of two periods of play.

San Jose State seemed like they might pull of the comeback win when Zach McKeithan scored a power play goal less than a minute into the third period. But then the Spartans fell victim to terrible luck on the ice. The Spartans had all of the momentum after the score went to 4-3 Boise State. But a clearing attempt from Spartan defenseman Tim Frederickson, bounced obscurely off of the scansion in the corner right to the tape of Bronco forward Justin Beverlin who buried it in the net. The Broncos played the entire game with a level of physicality that the Spartans had a hard time matching.

The Spartans did not have enough in the reserves to muster up another comeback. Boise State would add two more goals in the third period eventually beating the Spartans by the score of 6-3.

Saturday 10/3 v Santa Rosa JC (in Boise)
The Spartans faced a familiar foe on the second day of the Bronco Showcase at Century Link Arena in Boise. San Jose State laced up the skates against the Santa Rosa Junior College Polar Bears for the second time in seven days.

One week ago, the Spartans were able to hold on and defeat the polar bears by a count of 5-4. But that win did not come easily for San Jose, as they had a 4-1 lead entering the third period only to give up three consecutive goals. Luckily, veteran forward Schuyler Krawczuk came to the Spartan’s rescue and scored late in last week’s contest to give the Spartans a 5-4 victory.

This contest was very similar to the one that took place in San Jose a week ago. The Spartans were able to jump out to a substantial lead early in the game. Spencer Archer won the puck in the corner and worked his way in between the faceoff circles before he ripped a shot that found Krawczuk’s stick for a deflection with 9:14 left in the first period.

The Spartans would not stop there, as they added a pair of second period goals to extend their lead to 3 goals. The first goal of the frame came on a beautiful pass from Spartan captain Cody Murphy, who set up newcomer Tim Frederickson for a shot low in the slot that found the back of the net.

A banged-up Christian Rendino then took a Spencer Archer pass and fired a slap shot from the point that found twine with 4:23 left in the second period, to give San Jose State a 3-0 lead.

Unfortunately, that was the last time the Spartans lit the lamp on Saturday night.

The momentum shifted at the end of the second period when Santa Rosa was finally able to break through. With fifteen seconds left in the period, Matt Katicich took a glorious feed from Colin Ridenour and slammed it home. The score at the end of two periods of action was 3-1 San Jose State, but Santa Rosa had all the momentum, and San Jose State would struggle to regain it throughout the rest of the game.

The third frame was dominated by Santa Rosa; they put up two goals including the tying tally. The scoring opened with 9:18 left in the third David Lungren shot one past Mario Retana to close the gap to one goal, 3-2. Just over two minutes later at the 7:04 mark when Kurtis Klinger would finish the comeback with a gorgeous goal followed by a full eruption off the Santa Rosa bench.

Regulation ended with the score tied at 3, so the teams went to an overtime period. In the overtime, the Spartans controlled the majority of the play including a two minute power play where the Spartans hit posts, players, and Santa Rosa’s goalie Jacob Pavsek’s pads; but could not find a way to score.

The overtime period ended in a tie which is how the game will be recorded for statistical purposes. A shootout did take place however, and the Spartans were defeated in that affair by a score of 2-0.

The Spartans are now 1-0-1 against the Polar Bears this season, and will have to wait until the 20th of November for another chance against their Bay Area rivals.

Sunday 10/4 v Gonzaga (in Boise)
Sunday was getaway day for the Spartans; they padded up and took the ice against the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the last game of the Bronco Showcase in Boise, Idaho. The Spartans struck early and often, cruising to a 5-1 victory to wrap up the weekend.

Taking it back to Saturday night, the Spartans tied Santa Rosa JC 3-3. The team left the arena around 11:45 PM, and then had to arrive the next morning at 8:30 AM. So after a short six hour turnaround, the Spartans took back to the ice. And they did not disappoint.

A new Spartan opened up the scoring at 15:49 of the first period when Corey Semmelmayer got the puck on a perfect pass from Spencer Archer, and fired it home from right on top of the crease. The Spartans then endured a scoring drought for the remainder of the first period.

San Jose State went on a scoring rampage in the second period. Over a five minute span starting at the 17:27 mark, the Spartans would light the lamp four times. Patrick Melville started off the scoring followed by two tallies from Zack McKeithan, and then a booming slap shot from Christian Rendino would give the Spartans a 5-0 lead.

The Spartans were aided by great goaltending from Eddie Berlin, who was perfect through two periods, and Austin Carnathan who took over for Berlin at the start of the third.

Gonzaga would eventually put a tally on the board. With 3:16 left in the third period, there was a mad scrum in front of Carnathan and Gonzaga’s Ty Smith got credit for the Bulldog's lone goal on the morning.

The Spartans ended the road trip to Idaho with a 1-1-1 record, the lone loss coming against a highly touted Boise State team. There were several key contributors for San Jose State; of course the veterans came through. Schuyler Krawczuk and Zack McKeithan led the Spartans in goals, accounting for 5 out of the teams 11 goals. Spencer Archer still hasn’t found his name on the goal column of the scoresheet, but helped the team by assisting on five goals throughout the weekend.

New kids on the Spartan block have been instrumental to the Spartans early season success. Tim Frederickson and Patrick Thompson have done well in filling holes left by departing defensemen from last year’s team.
On the flip side, several forwards have made their presence felt early and often this season. Corey Semmelmayer has seen regular time on the first line and first power play unit, while Romeo Sandoval and Patrick Melville saw increased ice time as the weekend went on.

San Jose State will play a single game next weekend, on Saturday night at 7:00 PM. The Santa Clara Broncos are coming to Sharks Ice to take on the Spartans in a game dubbed as the “Battle of the Alameda.”
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