The Gauchos turned in an impressive performance in their home opener this past Saturday night, stomping visiting UC Davis in a 15-2 rout at the Oxnard Ice Skating Center to start the season on a high note.
An undermanned Davis team had trouble handling the Gauchos’ persistent up-tempo attack and physical forecheck and, as a result, the home squad controlled the play almost entirely. Save for a few sparse defensive gaffes that led to breakaways, the Aggies were rarely able to get the puck up ice quickly enough to create outnumbered situations, if at all.
“For our first game I definitely thought we played well,” Coach Gabe Mosse said. “It was a little hectic with the tryouts, just based on how many players we had and a lot of new people coming in, but everyone pulled together and played a great game.”
When the Aggies did get shots on goal, quality Gaucho backchecking made certain that second chance opportunities were infrequent in an effort to make life easier on goalie Misha Kolomensky.
“It was [Misha’s] first game ever playing college hockey and he played spectacularly,” Coach Ryan Baird said of the freshman goalie. “That’s the guy I give my game puck to.”
New recruit Kenny Wu was also a standout, scoring two goals in his college debut.
The Gauchos’ quick start, which saw them pull away near the end of the first period, allowed the team to roll their lines and spread around the ice time.
“It was a great start for our guys,” forward Travis Noe said.
The rowdy school bus full of fans that turned out and packed themselves against the boards tilted the ice further in the Gauchos’ favor, frustrating Davis parents and players with constant chanting and glass-banging.
“I think we have the best fans of any club sport at the school,” Baird said. “I think it rivals a lot of the NCAA teams.”
The Gauchos will take to the road next weekend with a doubleheader against Northern Arizona University before returning home for games against Sacramento State on Saturday, October 22 and Santa Clara on Sunday, October 23. As with all night games this season, the Gauchos are in the process of securing a bus for the Sacramento State matchup.
“If you like soccer, you might have a heart attack at a hockey game,” Baird said.