Aztecs Improve, But Drop Two Games to the Utes

SAN DIEGO—San Diego State Hockey is still searching for their first win in ACHA Division-1. While the team continues to learn and improve throughout the season, the 68th-ranked Divison-1 squad was still outplayed during both of their games against the University of Utah.

Their first game got off to a horrific start. Goaltender Parks Owensby and company allowed three goals in the first five minutes. Backup Charlee Lerow could not stop the bleeding, and the first period ended at 7-0.

“Tonight our goaltending was pretty weak,” lamented head coach Phillip Bateman. “A lot of untimely goals, a lot of first-shot goals… The 5-on-5 play I thought, for the most part, was good.”

“To me, it was a closer game than what the scoreboard reflected. I was proud of a lot of the effort the boys put in tonight,” said Bateman.

The Aztecs did improve, giving up three goals in the second period. The final period, would be the most competitive of the weekend and provide the Aztecs with some hope for their Saturday matchup.

“The last period was a 2-1 period, so hopefully we’ll build off that one,” hoped Bateman, after the team’s 12-1 loss.

The Aztecs started out well in the second game of their back-to-back. The first two Utes goals would be immediately matched by scores from Blake Reed and Michael Pellegrino, with the period ending 3-2 in favor of Utah.

But, the scoring would end there as the Utes flexed their skill, speed and size for the remainder of the 9-2 contest. “They’re really fast up front, they attack the net really well. Their defense-core move well laterally, so they’re a tough team to gain the (offensive) zone on,” noted Bateman.

“We started strong which is what we wanted, but we needed to finish the game,” commented team captain Pellegrino.

“It’s been a hard year…. we haven’t won a game,” added Pellegrino. “But we’re the first Division-1 team on the west coast… it’s more (about) building the program for future years.”

The Aztecs will continue their inaugural Division-1 season next season facing CU Boulder, a foe they dropped two close games against to start the season. SDSU hopes they can show their growth since September with a solid performance on Friday.