GBIC - February 10, 2019
Bears place 2nd in the Pac-8 Championship for the second year in a row.
LAKE TAHOE - After 60 minutes of hard-fought hockey, the Oregon Ducks put a dagger into the California Golden Bears' season, who came home with a second-place trophy in the PAC-8 tournament for the second year in the running.
Oregon's Nathan Lutz opened up the scoring with 23 seconds to play in the first frame, with a backdoor goal from a feed by Freshman Luke Chamberlain and Junior Warren Berg. Despite flurries of chances and a valiant effort, Cal could not respond, as Goaltender Grayson Parkes stove off the Golden Bears. Zachary Schultz and John Geraghty ultimately added onto the Ducks' total to make the game 3-0 before the final buzzer.
Undoubtedly fatigued from the thrilling overtime game against EWU the night before, Cal played with heavy legs throughout the championship showdown. Oregon was able to further frustrate the the Bears' high-powered offense by winning the battles in the corners, capitalizing on injuries to star players like Captain Michael Leone, and deploy a strong neutral zone trap.
Feeling the unsatisfying weight of a second place medal around their necks for the second year in a row, Cal players were upset after the loss. "It was right there for the taking," said Junior Goaltender Sami Morse, "we were in the same spot, the same position as last year, and we just weren't good enough."
The Oregon Ducks move on to Regionals, as the California Golden Bears' season ends earlier than expected.
"We're going to dissect this game, look at where we need to improve, then move on," said Sophomore Assistant Captain Jeffrey Chen. "We're going to be back next year, and we will win it."
That will be the mentality next year's team will need to embody in order to have a successful season. For now, they must spend the offseason resting, recovering, and preparing for the 2019-2020 year.