This past weekend saw the Aggies drive to up South Lake Tahoe for the PCHA playoffs, which included UC Davis, San Jose State, Santa Clara, Santa Rosa, Stanford, and UC Santa Cruz. The Aggies came in ranked 5th of 7, and had to fight to climb the bracket.
The first game came on Friday, with a matchup against Santa Rosa. UC Davis and Santa Rosa each took home two wins in the regular season, but just as in the last two regular season games against them, the Aggies completely controlled the game. UC Davis outperformed the Polar Bears in every aspect, winning the game 13-4, giving the Aggies a semi-final berth against San Jose State.
San Jose State would prove a much tougher opponent. The Aggies faced them very early into the season and lost 1-9. A much more cohesive Aggie squad, however, was not going to get rolled over this time. The game--a much faster paced one than the quarter-final--saw great defending on both sides, and the score was kept low. However, the Aggies went down 2-3 after the first period. In the second period, the Spartans gained steam and scored three more to Davis' one, ending the period 3-6. In the third period, the Aggies stormed the opposing net while not letting anything through, eventually putting the game at 4-6. However, after pulling the goaltender, the Aggies were simply unable to generate enough offense. The game ended 4-7.
That meant that the Aggies would be competing for bronze against Cal Lutheran. UC Davis had not played the Cal Lutheran Knights in the regular season, but that didn't phase them. They came out flying, scoring three goals in the first to the Knights' one. The Aggies, however, collapsed tremendously in the second period, allowing six straight goals from Cal Lutheran before answering with one of their own. The second period ended at 4-7.
Not discouraged, the Aggies came back inspired to take home a big win. Locking down the defensive zone allowed UC Davis to slowly climb back into the game, finally tying it with around five minutes left. Then, with three minutes left, UCD took the lead back, completing the monumental turnaround. The Aggies would hold off the Knights' last push to win the game 8-7.
It was a fun and hard-fought end to the PCHA season. The Aggies do play one more game next weekend against UC Santa Cruz in Redwood City.