|The Spartans made the trip down to San Diego on Friday morning, with most of the players making it to the area in the late afternoon or early evening. It was apparent the trip was still rough on the team though, as the Spartans had a slow start against the Aztecs that only got worse in the second period.
San Diego State's Alec Christoff got the Aztecs on the board just 4:15 into the game. Otherwise, Mario Retana was able to keep the game close with some spectacular saves - stopping 26/27 shots in the first 40 minutes. He'd finish with 41 saves on 44 shots.
The Spartans faced a scary situation in the early third period when defenseman Cody Murphy appeared to have dislocated his shoulder after receiving a check. But he didn't let it slow him down, popping it back in and scoring on his next shift! He'd score on a slapshot from the high slot after a scramble and rebound from Sam Shayesteh, Ian Seidl would pick up an assist on the play as the game was tied with 14:22 left in the period.
Nicholas Matejovsky would then give the Spartans a lead with 7:34 remaining. He buried a rebound that fell off Connor O'Brien's shoulder. Luke Schneider and Christian Rendino earned the assists on the goal.
Roughly two minutes later, the Aztecs tied it up and sent the game to overtime. In overtime, Matejovsky was called for a costly boarding penalty. Just like the Western Washington game, the Spartans could not kill it off and fell 3-2 in overtime after Anthony Mata's goal.
The Spartans stayed the night in San Diego, but put that game behind them the next day as they traveled up to Lakewood to take on Long Beach State.
SJSU came flying out of the gate with a great first period, getting goals from Schuyler Krawczuk and Christian Rendino. Matejovsky picked up the primary assist on Rendino's goal, while Cody Murphy had assists on both of the goals - which would become a theme for the night.
Things got sloppy in the second period though, with the 49ers scoring three straight goals to take the lead. Spencer Archer tied things up at 14:06 of the period, picking up the goal with assists by Murphy and Krawczuk. Long Beach's Ian Hoang gave the 49ers the lead back with just 27 second left in the period, and the Spartans headed to the locker room trailing 4-3 after two.
Midway through the third, Cody Murphy picked up an unassisted goal to even the playing field once more. Less than two minutes later, the Spartans kept the momentum going with the go-ahead goal by Nicholas Matejovksy. Murphy and Shayesteh got the assists.
With just over 4 minutes to go, the 49ers tied the game once more, and again the Spartans headed to overtime. And again, the Spartans took a penalty when Christian Rendino was called for interference. This time, however, the Spartans killed the penalty and flipped the script. Nicholas Matejovksy grabbed a pass from Ian Seidl in the neutral zone, and powered his way to the net before burying a goal to win the game. Cody Murphy also picked up an assist - finishing with 1 goal and 5 assists on the night.
Sunday morning, SJSU made the trip to nearby Artesia for a getaway day game against Cal State Fullerton. After last year's shenanigans, it only seemed to be a matter of time before some fists would fly. Turns out, that came right before the midpoint of the game.
Before then, Fullerton got on the board early with a goal just 1:50 into the game. Matejovksy answered back with a goal assisted by Rohit Krishnan to even things up after the first 20 minutes.
And then came the rough stuff. Following a boarding penalty taken by Spencer Archer, the Titans and Spartans erupted in an all-out line brawl. Keanu Deguchi got the worst of it after taking a cross-check directly in the face. Fullerton's Mischa Chang and SJSU's Schuyler Krawczuk were both ejected from the game and given a disqualification. It was pretty apparent the referees made a mistake, as video clearly showed that Krawczuk was perhaps the only skater not get involved.
Somehow, out of the scrum, the Spartans gained an extended 5-on-3 powerplay. On the ensuing man-advantage, Matejovsky picked up his second goal of the game on a goal assisted by Sam Shayesteh. This period had multiple breaks of nearly ten minutes, making the full period take over an hour of real time. It was a much needed break for Spartan defenders Michael Stivers and Cody Murphy, who may have played as many as 18 minutes of that period.
After another scrum along the wall late in the period, Ian Seidl was ejected for holding the facemask of one of the Titans - the second Spartan earning a disqualification in the game. San Jose State took the 2-1 lead into the second intermission.
The Spartans picked up a pair of goals two minutes apart in the third to take a strong 4-1 lead. Cody Murphy had the first one, stealing a puck before Fullerton could leave their zone and firing a seeing-eye wrister that somehow made it's way into the back of the net. Nicholas Matejovksy completed his hat-trick two minutes later, working down low and tucking it home. Michael Stivers had the only assist. It was a fun moment for Matejovksy, who was able to celebrate the goal with his father watching front row.
The Spartans looked like they were going to take this one by a solid margin, but Fullerton battled back with two goals in the last 7:28 of the game. Meanwhile, Matejovsky was also ejected and given a disqualification for kicking after an altercation with 2:22 remaining in the game.
Fullerton pulled their netminder for the extra attacker, but the Spartans held them off the board to avoid a third straight overtime game. The Spartans won 4-3, making it a winning road trip.