From left: Gordon Jack, Greg Snelling, Derek Kokubun and Greg Franks celebrate a goal against Cal Poly SLO during the 4th Annual Hockey Night in Santa Barbara
Click on the pics below to view the full sized photos from the scrimmage
Pictures courtesy of Noel, the awesomest goalie/Brooks Photography student ever
The 4th Annual Hockey Night in Santa Barbara came back from a one year hiatus with a bang. The Cal Poly SLO Mustangs came down to play the home team at the Earl Warren Showgrounds as usual, but this year had something special.
The day began with a hastily organized barbeque at Girsh Park in Goleta. Though tables and chairs were lacking, everyone made do because this was the first time in many years that family, friends, the team and especially the alumni had a chance to get together again.
Alumni included club founder Stephen Underhill, as well as former club presidents Dave Wagner and KC Douglas. Other alumni: Bill Mulligan, Joey Nagel, Tristan Emrich, Lucas Novak, Shaun Wright and honorary UCSB hockey alumnus Noah Smith. If I forgot anyone, I apologize!
There was plenty of food, lots of first meetings and constant reminiscing. Noah Smith, Media Relations Director for Hockey East, presented the team with a Hockey East jersey. The cap the barbeque off, the team then presented a new UCSB Hockey jersey to Stephen Underhill on the occasion of the club’s 10th anniversary. Steve sported the new look during the alumni game, complete with his #31 on the back.
The first game of the day occurred between the Cal Poly SLO and UCSB B teams. It was a hard fought match, with SLO arriving short of a few players and adding UCSB’s Ricky Matulac and CP SLO club president Pat Moyer to their roster. Though SLO would eventually win, UCSB kept the game interesting throughout with several hard fought goals.
The alumni game also went off great. When a few alumni cancelled at the last minute, the teams were filled out with seniors Mike Saksen, Greg Franks, Jeff Rieden, Phil Kamhi, Loren Cogswell, Sean Gillespie as well as myself. The team led by goalie Underhill and the triple threat of Nagel, Emrich and Wagner dominated another team made primarily of current seniors. Recent graduate Lucas Novak manned the other net. Absolutely no score was kept, but all the young’uns learned quickly to make sure they started skating backwards as soon as Dave Wagner got the puck and a good time was had by all.
The night was concluded with the third and final game between the SLO and UCSB A teams. A good mixture of UCSB students, player family members, alumni and local community members came out to watch these two talented teams go at it.
The level of play was a great representative of the WCRHL in general, with both teams skating hard and showing great puck movement. Scoring was a seesaw affair, with both teams scoring one after the other. The intensity of the play was also very evident, as several scuffles and fights broke out between the always bitter rivals despite the game’s status as exhibition.
Juniors Greg Snelling and Derek Kokubun each notched a goal, with sophomores Yu Matsumoto and Gordon Jack also scoring.
Due to the number of fights that occurred in the first and second periods, it was decided between the two teams to call the game short tied at 4-4 and instead finish it off with an “overtime” shootout.
Snelling, Kokubun and Jack were each called up to take a shot, as well as senior Mike Saksen. The Class of 2004 would come through as Saksen would be the only Gaucho to score. After the Mustangs also managed to score on only one of their opportunities, the stage was set for sudden death shootout.
Sophomore Evan Markgraf was tapped to take UCSB’s first try, and he came through with flying colors. Speeding down the empty rink in his usual high flying style, Markgraf buried it past SLO’s goaltender Chris Herbert to make the score 6-5.
After giving up only one goal throughout the game, stellar freshman goalie Sean Seal watched as fellow freshman Jason Green took his turn at stopping the Mustangs. Green, looking a bit shaky during regular period play after the long layoff since the end of the season, came through spectacularly with the game winning save to give the Gauchos a thrilling 6-5 (OT) win.
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