| Proud Member
February 3, 2004
Dear alumni, family, friends and supporters,
January has come and gone quickly, and it was a month full of big wins and disappointing losses. The restructured B team finally got its first win and, for the first time in what's seemed a long time, looked like the squad that won the B division last year.
Though their tournament in Palomar, San Diego (Jan. 10) would yield a 1-3 record, things have definitely turned around for them. Two tough losses at the beginning of the day could have easily snowballed into a winless tourney, but the Gauchos would battle their way to a 4-3 victory over a formiddable UC San Diego team. They would follow that with a last minute loss to a very surprised San Jose State - and just like that the B team was back in the mix with good showings against two tough Division II schools.
The A team would perform much the same, pulling a Jekyll and Hyde manuver throughout January. Riding high on the last tourney of the Fall quarter, the Gauchos were eyeing the medals at the North American Roller Hockey Championship (NARCh) Winternationals in Las Vegas, Nevada (Jan 16-19). They would eventually go home bruised and battered as the team went 0-3 in round robin play, with two close one goal losses to Missouri Rolla and Moorpark College. The worst loss of the tourney, though, would come at the hands of the Michigan State Spartans: an 0-8 drubbing that showed just how much the Gauchos have to work on. The last time these two teams met was in Chicago, 1999, in the CRHL national championship game - it was apparent things are now very different.
Santa Barbara would limp home, and continue the limping into their next tourney in La Verne, CA. Opening up the day with a 1-11 loss to Moorpark College, who had previously tied the Gauchos then beat them by a goal, it seemed the team couldn't get anything right. They would follow this loss with another one, this time to the Cal Poly Pomona Broncos 3-8. The turning point of the tournament and the end of a six game losing streak came, surprisingly enough, thanks to UC Santa Barbara's rival and (at the time) the WCRHL Division One league leader Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Mustangs. With a 5-4 squeaker over SLO, UCSB righted their course and cruised passed UC Irvine to an easy 12-4 victory and into their next event.
The question now for both squads is "Which team will show up?" The B team's season dangles on a very thin thread of hope - they can reach the postseason with a 4-0 sweep in Davis, CA (Feb. 7) as long as another team goes 0-4. With a solid string of practices behind them, the B team is looking more dangerous than it has all season... but will it matter? They'll have to win some games this weekend to find out.
The A team sits in the same boat: which group of players will finally show up? Their upcoming tournament in Lancaster, CA (Feb. 21) will be a good gauge of their season: a showdown with WCRHL powerhouse CSU San Bernardino will be the toughest game of the year for the Gauchos, but if they can pull out some wins in Lancaster then Santa Barbara will be rolling into Regionals with momentum. As it is, UCSB sits comfortably in the middle of the pack as far as playoff spots go. Lancaster will be the measuring stick, though, and the Gauchos will be ready.
Beyond the horizon will be Regionals in March, which has been recently announced as taking place at Rollin' Ice in San Jose. Alumni and family from the Bay Area, come out and watch us play!
Alumni: keep your eyes peeled for updates on an Alumni event to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the club.
And everyone else: Keep telling everyone interested, especially family and alumni, about our website and mailing list. We're working on getting everyone involved and informed because a lot of big things are happening. Expect an update on the Recreational Center II Expansion Project and the indoor Sport Court roller hockey rink that goes with it - I'll be meeting with the construction companies, contractors and coordinators of the project in the next few weeks, and I'm taking pictures!
Finally, for our recent alumni, here's a link for ya:
President, UCSB Hockey
All images and text are the property of UCSB Hockey
Watch as the Recreation Center II and our indoor SportCourt facility develop. This picture album will grow as the construction progresses. The opening date is set for Fall/Winter quarter of 2004-05.|