A season of hard work, dedication and perseverance has paid off for the CSU club hockey team. In perhaps their best-played game of the season, the Rams defeated
Weber State 6-0 on Saturday and locked a spot in the ACHA Division II National Tournament, held in New York City in early March.
The Rams dominated Weber State from the drop of the puck in the first period to the final horn of the game. CSU outshot Weber State 65-27 and physically commanded the pace of the game.
“This is a big boost in confidence and a huge win for us,” assistant coach Jeremy Jennings said. “And the momentum takes us into next week.”
The two teams were knotted up at 0-0 after the first period, despite a barrage of shots on the Weber State goalie. The Rams were getting all the looks they wanted but could not convert any into goals. That quickly changed in the second period.
Junior forward Josh Bowers broke the ice for CSU only minutes into the second period with a goal assisted by sophomore forward Braden Grieser. The Rams jumped at this opportunity and quickly put in two more goals from sophomore defenseman Travis Ellison and senior forward Brock Storfa, who finished with two goals and an assist.
“We just wanted to show the division that we’re the best team in the league and they need to look out for us,” Storfa said. “This was a climactic game and now we’re in nationals.”
The Rams continued their success in the third period with three more goals to finish off Weber State. Storfa added his second of the game, while sophomore forward Ryan Lewis and senior forward Matt Merritt each added goals. Rookie goalie Aaron Gaddis completed his first shutout of the season and once again came up big for the Rams in an important game. However, Gaddis was quick to credit his teammates for the win.
“It was all our defense; I didn’t really have to make any tough saves,” Gaddis said. “It’s not me, this team has just played so good, it’s unbelievable. It feels great and we’re ready to hit the town.”
The Rams extended their winning streak to four games and moved their record to 14-10-1. More importantly, the team took sole possession of the fourth and final tournament berth, and depending on their success in the final five games of the season, could be ranked as high as three in the Western Division.
Next up for CSU are two games against the University of South Dakota at Black
Hills next weekend. Both will be played at the Providence Ice Arena on Friday and Saturday. n