Braun to be Wild
After a tough two-game loss weekend, UC Davis was searching for a win to snap their three game losing streak. With a full and healthy roster, the Aggies hosted rivals Santa Rosa Junior College for the first time this season. SRJC was coming off of a large win streak and had plenty of confidence coming into the game.
At the drop of the puck, the game was destined to be a fast-paced one. The Polar Bears were given multiple odd-man rushes, but were unable to convert on them as goaltender Niklas Braun came ready to play. Just three minutes into the first period, senior Gordon Dickson found a lane and scored on a breakaway, putting the Aggies up by one. Another four minutes later, he would do the same, and the Aggies would be up by two--until the Polar Bears' quick response seven seconds later made it 2-1. A hard fought period came to an end with the Aggies up by one.
The second period began with Santa Rosa controlling the play. The Polar Bears controlled the puck movement for the first half of the period, gaining chance after chance. It would only be a matter of time before they scored, as a lucky bounce allowed the puck to sneak by the goaltender's shoulder evening out the score. Later, a defensive breakdown allowed a Santa Rosa breakaway which they would convert on, putting the Polar Bears in the lead for the first time in the game. After the goal, however, the Aggies would lock down defensively and push back. Chances began to appear, and finally, with less than 30 seconds left in the period Gunther Schuler pushed a rebound past a scrum to even the score at three.
After a short break, the third period started the same way as the second ending--with the play bouncing back and forth, and good battles all around. The Aggies would score seven minutes into the third, only to allow a Santa Rosa goal directly after. As the clock winded down, shots flew in both directions until Peter Shin blasted one from the slot to put the Aggies up 5-4. Desperate for a goal, SRJC pulled their goalie with two minutes left for the extra attacker. A hard push was quelled when Santa Rosa received a penalty with 56 seconds to go. Santa Rosa wouldn't give up, and a near miss and a great scoring chance stopped by Niklas Braun in the last two seconds highlighted the end of the game. Your Aggies took away the win!
Here is the post-game interview by Kyle Armstrong and Kyle McNeil:
Niklas Braun came away with 55 saves in the game, while Peter Shin scored his first of the season. A great bounceback game by the Aggies, who face San Francisco State next weekend. Check out some prictures from the game in the gallery below.