Proud Member

Volume 1, Issue 3
March 9, 2004

Dear alumni, family, friends and supporters,

Same Website, New Look

After several months of development, has finalized its format and is ready for all to enjoy! The new look includes a game ticker that will bring you scores from around the nation, better navigation, more content and one big banner. Each section has been retooled and added to in order to bring you more information about the Gauchos. Visit today and explore UCSB Hockey!

RecCen II Construction Site Pictures

I got a chance to take a tour of the construction site with members of the RecCen Governance Board. The site, which will incorporate classrooms, a large ground level weight room, aerobic areas, a mezzanine, locker rooms, art rooms (complete with a kiln) and of course our indoor SportCourt rink, is much bigger than I had thought. In fact, it’s going to be huge. The foundation has been laid, the girders are up, the concrete has been poured and the excitement is building in anticipation of the grand opening in Fall/Winter of 2004-05. Take a look at the pictures I took at our album.

UCSB A Team Eliminated from WCRHL Playoffs

Our season has finally come to a close. On Saturday March 6, the UCSB A team was eliminated from Western Region playoff contention on the first day of the WCRHL regional tournament at Rollin’ Ice, San Jose, CA. A short recap can be found at here.

UCSB drew Cal Poly Pomona, Chico State and Division III Moorpark College in its round robin bracket. All three teams played some of their best hockey of the year, with Chico and Pomona moving on to the elimination portion of the event on Sunday. The Gauchos, however, couldn’t seem to come through on all the promise they had shown during the regular season. Nagging injuries, porous defense and a lackluster offense would doom the Gauchos to an 0-3 record and an early exit from the tourney.

Freshman goaltender Sean Seal again played outstandingly, keeping UCSB in games that, due to its poor play, perhaps it shouldn’t have been in. Seal and fellow freshman goalie Jason Green should make a dangerous backstopping combination for the next few years at Santa Barbara.

The A team says goodbye to three seniors: forwards Jeff Rieden (Fresno, CA) and Mike Saksen (Half Moon Bay, CA), and captain Greg Franks (Los Gatos, CA). The three combined for a good part of UCSB’s offense at San Jose, with each recording at least one point in the final game versus Moorpark College. It was a fitting send off to the class of 2004.

Senior forward Jeff Rieden came to Santa Barbara for the 2002-03 season and made an immediate impact with his passing abilities. A two year player for the A squad, Rieden brought much needed age and maturity to a very young team during his tenure. Rieden will graduate in the following Fall with a BA in Philosophy.

Senior forward Mike Saksen has been a mainstay on the A team since his freshman year in 2000-01. As a four year player, Saksen led the team this year by example by never missing a single practice. He was a constant for his entire career, and remained a dangerous scoring threat even up until his last collegiate game. Saksen will graduate in the Spring with a BS in Zoology.

Senior Greg Franks captained the Gauchos for his fourth and final year with the squad. Like Saksen, he was a four year fixture on the A team and was a freshman when the Gauchos beat eventual 2001 National Champions Rochester Institute of Technology. Taking on the roles of both player and coach, Franks led UCSB in practice and in tournaments with a staunch work ethic and a thorough knowledge of the game. Perhaps one of the biggest credits to him was his willingness to switch from forward to defenseman and then back again midway through the season when the Gauchos shook their rosters up. Franks will graduate in the Spring with a BS in Physics.

B Team Wrap Up

The B team wrapped up its season on February 7 in its final tournament at Davis, CA.

It's been a long year for these Gauchos, 2003's WCRHL B division champions. The season began auspiciously when after a huge turnout for tryouts two B squads were formed. After the first tournament, though, one team folded and the remaining players gathered together on the other squad. With a record of 1-11 going into Saturday's tourney, their hopes for a postseason appearance relied on a possible 4-0 sweep coupled with a 0-4 performance from Davis B.

With the news of CSU Monterey Bay's B team forfeiting the tournament, though, those hopes were dashed as the forfeit gave Davis B the lone win it needed to knock the Gauchos out of contention. The team would soldier on though, fighting tenaciously in its first game of the day against the Aggies. UCSB and UCD would be tied at the end of the second, only to have Davis break open the scoring enroute to an eventual 9-3 win after Santa Barbara was penalized for eleven of the twelve minutes of the third period, including a 4 minute 4-on-2 double minor penalty kill. The questionable officiating combined with a potent (and very long) Davis power play that left the Gauchos with a 1-1 record thus far.

It looked as if that record would quickly change to 1-2 after Cal Poly SLO B Gold jumped on the Gauchos to open up a 6-2 lead going into the third. Down four goals and faced with a very talented SLO squad, Santa Barbara would roar back with four straight unanswered goals, led by senior forward Loren Cogswell and backed by the outstanding goaltending of senior netminder Christian Jones. The story of the game was written clearly for all to be seen in the way the two teams played in the last minute of play: with just a handful of seconds left, Gaucho senior forward Sean Gillespie had two scoring chances in a mad last second scramble. Although Gillespie did not score, it showed that if given one more period Santa Barbara would probably have walked away with a win.

The B team would finish the day by completing their swing around and crushing CSU Monterey Bay A 11-4. The Gauchos controlled the game with skill and patience, barely allowing the Otters out of their own zone and pelting Monterey Bay's goalie with shot after shot. Dominating both physically and in terms of puck control, the B team put on its finest performance of the year, capped by two goals from goalie Mike Lovato (who skated out during the game) and a hat trick from junior defenseman Pete Culberson.

Congratulations to the B team for their 2-1-1 record at Davis. Although they expected more out of this season, they ended it strongly and on a high note. Look for the B team to reload and come out firing in 2004-05.

And to our seniors, thanks go out to you guys for all the hard work you've put in. Congratulations, and good luck to you in your future endeavors:

Loren "Smiley" Cogswell, Forward, 2000-04
Sean "Monkey" Gillespie, Forward, 2003-04
Christian "Old Man River" Jones, Goalie, 2002-04
Phil "Karate Chop" Kamhi, Forward, 2002-04

Gauchos Face the Long Off-Season

With two early exits, UCSB has a long off season ahead of it. Simply put, the Gauchos have a lot of things to change if they expect to get back to their tradition of excellence. Time is running out for the numerous juniors who will return next year as seniors. The WCRHL continues to grow in both depth and quality every year, and Santa Barbara cannot afford to stand still.

The Gauchos will move into their off season work out schedule during the Spring in anticipation of the 2004-05 season. This year’s off season will have a sense of urgency to it as UCSB prepares for the opening of their on campus rink. Expectations are high for next year’s squad with the addition of this rink, and the focus in the Spring will be on a rigorous dry land training schedule. Can the Gauchos make a turnaround from their slump? The answer to that question will start on March 29, when the team returns from break and begins the new quarter.

SLO Scrimmage and Alumni Weekend

Though plans are still not definite, we hope to bring you more details on the annual SLO Scrimmage and first ever Alumni Weekend. A tentative date has been set for the weekend of April 24-25, but could be moved back to accommodate the schedule of our alumni as well as our players. Early to mid-May is also possible.

We hope to get enough of our alumni to Santa Barbara in order to have a full two squad alumni game, followed by the featured SLO/UCSB scrimmage. Fans, friends and family are encouraged to attend this event in order to meet the current team as well past members of our program. Food vendors will be invited to the event, and we hope to get a generous crowd of UCSB students, family and Santa Barbara area youth hockey players.

Please spread the word to any UCSB Hockey alumni you know of! Let’s make this thing happen!

Go Gauchos!

Jonathan Tu
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.