|In front of a packed crowd at Sharks Ice, the San Jose State Spartans were victorious in their final game of the regular season. After honoring the seven Spartans playing the final home game of their careers, SJSU defeated Cal 8-5 in a wild game.
While the focus may have been on the seniors, a few freshman made their impacts felt too - specifically Corey Semmelmayer, who finished with an amazing 6 points. Semmelmayer scored a quick goal on the powerplay just 1:34 into the game. Christian Rendino and Scuyler Krawczuk had the assists in what would be big nights for them too.
After Cal tied the game, Krawczuk responded with a goal a little after a minute later. Another minute after that, Rendino followed suit. Just like that, a 1-1 game turned into a 3-1 Spartan lead. It appeared that score would hold into the intermission, but Cal added one more late goal to get back within one.
Into the second period, Semmelmayer picked up his second goal of the game. Again, the goal came roughly 90 seconds into the period, but this time, it came shorthanded. Cal put on a good push in the second though, and was able to tie the game once more with two goals less than a minute apart coming from Nic Kawasaki and Bryce Morisako. That duo threatened to score nearly every time they were out on the ice.
Despite seeing their lead evaporate again, the Spartans did not give up and controlled the second half of the contest. Krawczuk scored his second of the night with 13:27 remaining in the second period. The goal was his 20th of the year, and put him back ahead of Zach McKeithan for the team lead.
Grad student Johnny Germaine, who was also playing his final home game of his career, finally got up on the scoreboard shortly after. While Germaine finished the night with only one goal, he had hit a crossbar in the first, and narrowly miss the net after undressing a Cal defender on a beautiful move. Christian Rendino also scored his second of the game late in the period as SJSU took a 6-4 lead to the intermission.
In the third period, the Spartans started to commit more to their defense and neutral zone play to slow down the pace. But it wasn't all defense, as freshman forward Erik West notched his first goal of his career. West and senior Zach McKeithan raced up the ice on a 2-on-1, with West able to cash in. The assist for McKeithan ended up being his fourth of the night. While Zach may be one goal behind Krawczuk now, he's only two assists behind Spencer Archer for the team lead in that category now.
The Golden Bears added one more goal with 2:36 left, but it was too little, too late. The Spartans took the game by the final score of 8-5, with the Spartans outshooting Cal 44-33. Goaltender Mario Retana made 28 saves in his swan song at Sharks Ice.
With the win, the Spartans finish the regular season with a 16-8-2 record. SJSU will take #10 Montana Tech in the first game of the regional playoffs this Friday in Logan, Utah.