Division I UCSB Roller Hockey stepped aside this past weekend as Santa Barbara’s Gold and Blue hockey teams played host to their last home tournament. The Gold side ended the tournament with a 2-1 record with wins over Sonoma State and Claremont College, while the Blue side lost their first two games before stealing a win in its finale courtesy of a late forfeit by UC Santa Cruz. Overall, the Gauchos can take pride in their performances as they showed improvements with each game.
The Gold team opened on Saturday afternoon and took to the rink against an undefeated Arizona State squad. The first period would end knotted up after Ian Schroeder provided the equalizer to an early Arizona State goal. The Gauchos spent almost half the second period in the penalty box with four minor penalties tallied against them. After falling behind early in the second, a goal from Gaucho sophomore forward Max Ryan would only delay the inevitable for the Gold team. Arizona State came out strong in the third period, with Sun Devil sophomore Nick Bazan completing his hat trick and helping to put the finishing touches on a 6-2 ASU win.
The Blue team would hope for better luck against the Saddleback College Gauchos but would only find the back of the net once. A stingy Saddleback defense stifled a potent UCSB attack while the offense put in five goals of its own by match’s end. The Blue team had a chance at redemption against Claremont College in the last game of the day, but Claremont appeared to have the edge from the beginning. Claremont scored a goal five minutes into the first period before doubling its tally in the second period to put the game at its 2-0 final.
Both teams slept on their losses with hope that Sunday would bring better games. Needless to say, the wishful thinking prevailed in the first game of the day that pitted the Gold Gauchos against the Sonoma State Seawolves. UCSB had a field day in the first period and slaughtered Sonoma State’s defense to the tune of six goals. Four more in the second period enacted the mercy rule and put an end to this lopsided affair. The Gauchos finished with 35 shots on goal and held the Seawolves to just four with Ryan and freshman defender Travis Faught putting in two goals.and an assist each.
The Gold side had a chance to finish over .500 for the tournament when they faced Claremont College later that day. The Gold team ended up doing what the Blue side could not, winning the game 5-1 with the first and second stars going to junior defender Gabe Mosse and junior forward Erik Elliot of the UCSB squad. As previously mentioned, the Blue team would only get a consolation win as the Banana Slugs were forced to forfeit all their games for the day.
The Division I team will be up next as they head east to Las Vegas to defend their #2 rank in conference from Feb. 13-14.