FORT COLLINS, Colorado — San Diego State University’s Ice Hockey program knew their inaugural season in ACHA Division-1 would be a challenging change of pace. Especially when considering they would blow out opponents in Division-2 and -3 with double-digit goals frequently.
Now, the Aztecs (0-6) are on the opposite end of these lopsided affairs. They most recently fell victim to the Colorado State University Rams, who tallied 9 goals on Friday, then added 10 more Saturday in their recent back-to-back games.
In fairness, the Aztecs are struggling with some health concerns. Top-pairing staple Cam Henderson missed the trip with an upper-body injury. The under-manned roster was also battling a cold being spread amongst the team, that was exaggerated by the increased elevation.
“The team is very competitive despite having a clear talent deficiency,” reflected head coach Phillip Bateman. He continued, “Where we lack is confidence. There is a major psych out every game we shouldn’t be on the ice yet with D1 teams.”
Despite the lopsided score lines, but poor third periods exaggerated the Aztec’s defeats. The score after 40-minutes was within two or three goals before their eventual 9-3 and 10-0 losses over the weekend.
“I know we are undermanned at times, that we are not going to have a match-up advantage, so we just have to instill belief in our players, and give them the confidence to play with some pace, and don’t get frustrated,” noted Bateman.
They will have time to work on that. The Aztecs will have two weeks of practices at home before flying cross-country to Buffalo, NY. Their back-to-back will start with George Mason University (2-4), who finished 58th out of 68 Division-1 teams last season. The Aztecs will be hoping for improved health and scoring heading into their East coast trip.