|The Spartans had some trouble with a pesky Santa Clara Broncos team, but were able to put them away with a 5-0 victory.
The Spartans had to do it from a strange viewpoint: the opposite benches of Sharks Ice at San Jose. Santa Clara was technically the home team for the game, even though the game was played on the Spartans' usual home rink.
The crowd coming from Santa Clara got under the Spartans skin a bit, just as the Broncos did on the ice. Neither team was afraid to mix it up and get physical. No one scored in the first period, and the Spartans seemed surprised by the very solid defensive play shown by Santa Clara.
There were a combined 28 total penalties - 14 per side, but unlike the first game against Cal-Berkeley, these were deserved. In fact, there probably could have been more called.
After a few of those penalties, the Spartans and Broncos were playing 4-on-4 when Cody Murphy finally put SJSU up on the board. After receiving a pass from Luke Schneider, Murphy skated into the offensive zone and cut past the defense to the outside with a nice toe drag. He forced his way back to the net and powered the puck into the goal to make it 1-0 Spartans with 11:56 remaining in the second.
SJSU kept this momentum going with another great individual effort - this time by Nicholas Matejovsky. Matejovsky grabbed a puck deep in the defensive zone and skated coast to coastwhile splitting the defense before beating Santa Clara goalie Christian Miller. Goaltender Mario Retana picked up the only assist on the play.
The Spartans would add one more in the middle frame on the powerplay with 3:05 remaining. Rookie Spencer Archer netted his seventh goal in as many games with a snipe from the half-boards. Michael Stivers and Cody Murphy earned the assists as SJSU took the 3-0 lead into the second intermission.
Nine minutes into the third period, Matejovsky scored off the rush again, walking the goal line and tucking it around Miller to make it 4-0. Sam Shayesteh earned the only assist.
Things stayed chippy late, with the most eye-opening scrum coming with 2:34 left in the game. After a shot was thrown on net by Ian Seidl, he and Bronco John Pereira traded shoves behind the Santa Clara net. Seidl pinned Pereira to the back of the net when Christian Miller skated back and threw a few punches at Seidl using his blocker. Surprisingly, things did not escalate from there. After a long delay, the Spartans ended up with the powerplay.
On the resulting man-advantage, San Jose State added one more for good measure. Matejovsky and Sam Shayesteh set up Christian Rendino for a huge one-timer to make it 5-0. That's how the game would end, with the Spartans taking the win.
Mario Retana earned his first shutout of the season with 22 saves. He was tied for the D2 lead last season with 4. It's his sixth career shutout, putting him just one behind Eric Lahrs for the most in team history. It was also his 40th career win.