LAKE TAHOE - The Golden Bears begin the playoffs rolling. California Ice Hockey defeats the University of Washington in their first game of the 2019 PAC-8 playoffs 11-3.
7 minutes into the contest, California's Ronnie Paulos struck first, finishing a rebound after defenseman Kevin Wang knifed into the zone and put a shot on UW goaltender, Bennet Jarvis. Paulos drove hard to the net with his stick on the ice and jammed it home, giving the team some depth scoring that is an encouraging sign for the tournament to come. From then on out it was smooth sailing for this Golden Bears team. California saw additional goals from Gabriel Giammarco (4), Michael Leone (2), Delfino Varela (1), Patrick Tagari (1), Chase Swerdlick (1), and Jeffrey Chen (1).
Despite a relative lack of action on his end of the ice, Junior Goaltender Ethan Crick was able to continue his good form this season. He finished the night stopping 23 of 26, with several highlight reel saves on odd-man rushes. Overall, it was an amazing showing from California.
Junior Chase Swerdlick recognized the importance of this game, but is looking ahead to tomorrow, "we knew what we needed to do, and we executed. It would be great if we had the time to reflect on how fun this matchup was, but we have a huge game tomorrow."
California will be taking on the North 2 seed Eastern Washington University, who defeated San Jose State University 4-0. As the 18th ranked program in the West, California has their work cut out for them. It should be a tough, grind-it-out affair.