Takeaways from the First Games of the Season

Davis, CA- In the first month of the 2019-20 season, the Aggies played three games. Each one was almost entirely different from the last. Currently holding a 1-2-0 record, the team has four games remaining in the fall quarter, all of which are at home and scheduled before Thanksgiving break.

Opening night was a closely contested home game against Stanford with plenty of friends and fans spectating. The Aggies emerged with an early one goal lead that, over the course of a period and a half, became a three goal deficit. The third period, which has been one of the team’s strongest thus far, fell just short of a comeback. An unfortunate goal into the empty net near the end of the game sealed the deal for Stanford. The Aggies will have three more games against Stanford this season, with the next chance to even up the series coming up on November 1st. If the pace and competitiveness of this game was any prelude of what is to come when these teams meet again, we can expect there to be much more exciting hockey in store.

The following weekend, the Aggies hit the road for a game in San Mateo against UC Santa Cruz. The Banana Slugs roster has lost several of its core players from previous seasons, and the depleted roster could not keep up with the firepower the Aggies boast throughout their lineup. Despite a strong goaltending performance from UC Santa Cruz’s netminder, the Aggies cruised to a 10-1 victory in the Bay Area. Sophomore Travis Wood (#87) ended the night with four assists and defenseman Michael Applegate (#11) had a remarkable five assists. Ph.D. student William Teeple (#80) fired in five goals, including a beauty on a shorthanded breakaway.

This past Friday, the Aggies’ fortunes bounced in the opposite direction, facing a crippling loss to Santa Rosa Junior College at home. The team was outmuscled on the ice and outnumbered on the bench. An injury to Aggies leading goal-scorer Teeple in the second period did not help the cause. The sole bright spot of an otherwise forgettable night for UC Davis was freshman Oliver Carlson’s (#17) first career ACHA goal. The rookie has been impressive thus far, with one goal and two assists in his first three games of collegiate hockey.

Overall, the team has earned mixed reviews of their on-ice performance. Head coach Niklas Braun and his players hope that the inconsistent play from period to period can be attributed to early-season rust, and that the group can find a way to consistently compete for the rest of the season. Catch the Aggies on the ice tomorrow and Saturday night at Vacaville Ice Sports, with puck drop at 9 pm for both games.

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