Teep-ing the Scales
This last weekend, the Aggies kicked off their season with a Friday evening game in San Mateo against Stanford University and a Saturday night game at home in Vacaville against Santa Clara University. Unfortunately, due to the California wildfires, the Aggies were unable to have one last practice before the weekend and went in with only three practices together. Nonetheless, the show went on, and the Aggies played their first games together. Although in previous years, UC Davis has found Stanford to be a weaker opponent, the Aggies faced a stacked roster this time around. Missing rookies Robert Polon and Tryssa De Ruyter, the Aggies played with a less than full roster, and it showed. Stanford quickly outpaced the Aggies, scoring two goals rapidly to take the lead. The Aggies would score two to tie the game, but Stanford struck back immediately to end the second up 2-4. Short on defense, the Aggies couldn't keep the pace despite a plethora of powerplay opportunities and fell 2-6 despite a valiant effort by rookie goaltender Jordan Byrnes. Following the game, coach Niklas Braun stated, "We played well for where we are in the season. There were a few mistakes that cost us, but I think we're on the right track." The next night, the Aggies hosted Santa Clara University in the UC Davis home opener. With defenseman Zhouhao Yu suffering an injury against Stanford, the Aggies once again fielded only three defenders, with Robert Polon making his debut alongside forward Tryssa De Ruyter and goaltender Timur Katsnelson. Though UC Davis started off strong, penalties and unfortunate mistakes cost the Aggies, who dropped 0-3 after the first period. The Aggies went on to find the scoresheet in the next period, with goals from Gunther Schuler and William Teeple, but couldn't match SCU's output. The Aggies would go on to score one more goal by Kaz Machida, losing the game 3-9. Goaltender Timur Katsnelson commented, "The effort our team gave in both games this weekend, facing adversity in every period, is something to be proud of. We have a lot to look forward to this season." The Aggies will search for their first win next weekend, as they host back-to-back home games against UC Santa Cruz and San Francisco State University.