USC holds off Cal State Fullerton

Whoever first said “It ain’t pretty,” might have been describing the Southern California Club Hockey team take down California State, Fullerton.

Trojan goalie Jeremy Blaustein stole the show with 30 saves on 32 shots while Travis Schwartz, Jake Abene, and Keegan Jones added a goal each to propel the Trojans to a 3-2 win. The victory moves USC to 2-1 on the season after an opening series split against the California Golden Bears.

The game featured 38 penalty minutes between the two teams in a game that was not as much chippy as it was tightly and very inconsistently called.

USC assistant coach Jerry Toy was happy to see his team get the win but expects a lot of improvement. “We didn’t play as a team today,” he said. “We had a lot of individual efforts and guys trying to do it themselves, luckily it worked out.”

USC opened the scoring 12 minutes into the first period as Travis Schwartz took a centering pass from freshman John Mendillo and wired the puck over the glove side of Titan goaltender Ron Best.

Fullerton tied the game with 3:57 remaining in the first period after the Trojan’s Max Jablonski left the ice for a hook. 103 seconds later referees whistled Andrew Philps for a slash, extending a 5 of 3 opportunity for the Titans. During that extended 5 on 3, Fullerton’s Dylan Kammer pounced on a rebound off a shot from Bailey Mejia tying the game at one.

The game remained tied throughout the second period and in the third Jones and Abene scored consecutively for USC to extend the Trojan’s lead to 3-1.

With under five minutes remaining in the third period Titan Grant Normand cut the Trojan lead in half with a long shot from the top of the right circle. The Titans pulled their goalie with 1:17 remaining in the game but Blaustein turned away a flurry of Fullerton shots before USC cleared the puck running out the clock.

The Trojans face San Jose State in a Pac-8 matchup Friday and Saturday night.

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