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Bears Dominate in The Big Freeze Series

22 October 2012

OAKLAND, CA, October 22, 2012 – This past weekend, Cal Ice Hockey took on the Stanford Cardinal in the annual Big Freeze. Thursday night in Oakland, the Bears shutout the Cardinal 9-0 in front of 200+ rowdy fans. They followed up their shutout with another dominating 7-2 victory at Stanford on Friday night. The Bears outscored the Cardinal 16-2 over the weekend, which saw goals from 9 different Bears. Cal is now 6-3-0 (4-2-0 in PAC8).

Oakland Ice Center was rocking on Thursday night. With the Cal Band and 200+ fans in attendance, the Bears took the ice in their flossy new gold uniforms. Bryce Morisako (Fr.) opened the scoring 10 minutes into the first period on an unassisted goal. Bryan Brown (Grad.) added two more before the period ended, with JP McNicholas (Sr.) earning assists on both goals, the second of which coming on the powerplay.

The Bears continued their momentum in the second period. JP McNicholas put Cal up 4-0 on a nifty passing play with Chaten Boscha (Grad.) and B. Brown. Less than 30 seconds later, Gerald Williams (Grad.) potted his first career ACHA goal, banging home a rebound on the doorstep. Boscha and McNicholas earned the assists.

Cal kept the pressure on in the third period, scoring three goals in two minutes to start the period. First, Nic Kawasaki (Fr.) rocketed a wrist shot into the top left corner to make it 6-0. Half a minute later, Jake White (So.) sent a bad angle shot into the goalie’s pads, which left a rebound right in the crease. Frank Anicic (Sr.) and Andy Abrams (So.) banged away at it, but it was Abrams who ended up chipping the puck over the goaltender’s extended left pad to earn his second goal of the season. White tallied his second goal of the season on a dazzling individual effort, stickhandling his way through the Cardinal defense before beating the goalie on a shot from the top of the circle. With three minutes to go, the Bears appeared to go up 10-0 on an unbelievable, no-look backhand from the hash marks by Kawasaki, but the goal was waved off when the referees ruled the net was off its moorings.

With a minute to go, a Stanford player came out of the penalty box, got a fortunate bounce and came in on a clear breakaway. Captain Justin Tetyevsky (So.) raced back and made a valiant diving attempt to knock the puck away, but the Stanford player was tripped up and the referees awarded him a penalty shot. The crowd rose to their feet and cheered on Cal goalie, Matt Bloomfield (Sr.), as he shut the door with his glove to earn his first shutout of the season.

The following evening in Mountain View, the Bears attempted to coast to their third victory against Stanford this season. However, they quickly found out this would not be the case. After 20 minutes of play, the Bears were looking at a 2-1 deficit, despite outshooting the cardinal 17-10.

The Bears came out with a vengeance in the second period. In the first five minutes, the 2-1 deficit was turned into a 4-2 lead after three quick goals by Kawasaki, B. Brown, and Michel Mikhail (So.). Kawasaki’s came from another blistering wrister, Brown’s on a 2-on-1 with McNicholas, and Mikhail’s on a juicy rebound.

The Bears added to their lead in the third period with three powerplay goals from Theo Haboucha (Fr.), B. Brown, and Kawasaki to take home a 7-2 victory. Bloomfield earned his second straight victory with another 20 save performance.

Overall, the Bears outshot Stanford 103-42 over the weekend, while dominating in the face-off circle. They also went 5 for 10 on the powerplay and killed off all 12 Cardinal powerplays.

Cal Ice Hockey has the next week off before returning to action against the University of Washington in Seattle, WA on November 2 and 3. The Bears’ next home game is December 1 against Fresno State at 9:15PM.

Notes: JP McNicholas led the team in points with 2 goals and 6 assists… B. Brown led the team in goals this weekend with 4 goals… Morisako regained his points lead with 5 points on the weekend, giving him 27 on the year… Mike Holmes played Thursday night, two days after the birth of his first child, Lena Holmes… Sandon Griffin (So.) returned to the lineup Thursday night, but sat out again on Friday…