Stanford tops Santa Barbara 9-7 in MPSF play

No. 5 Stanford had a strong effort to beat No. 2 UCSB, 9-7 in a conference matchup.

The No. 2 ranked Santa Barbara Gauchos were facing their first big test, since their second place finished at the SoCal tournament, when they hosted No. 5 ranked Stanford Cardinal. Stanford proved to be too much as they were able to defeat UCSB 9-7 in a key MPSF game. This was the third time that these two teams played this year, and Stanford now holds a 2-1 advantage.

The Cardinal had three goals from freshman driver Bret Bonanni in the win, and goalie Scott Platshon made 10 saves in the win. Stanford started off strong by racing out to a 4-0 lead. The scoring for Stanford got started with Nick Hoversten and BJ Churnside scoring early in the first period to give the Cardinal a quick 2-0 lead.

The first quarter was very physical as Stanford forced two ejections, and on the second kick out at the 5:48 mark Stanford scored their third goal. Then less than a minute later Churnside scored his second goal of the quarter to go up 4-0. In that first quarter there were five straight possessions where there was an ejection, but UCSB was unable to convert the three they drew.

The second quarter still favored Stanford 3-2 overall, but the UCSB offense somewhat came alive. The Gauchos first goal of the game came on a goal by Evan Dellinger turned the Gaucho momentum around, scoring his first of two goals of the day to put UCSB on the board. Junior Dylan Baliani contributed to UCSB's offensive effort as he scored the teams second goal with just over a minute left in the quarter. At the end of two quarters, Stanford led 7-2.

The second half is when UCSB made their run to get back in this game. The Gaucho defense held the Cardinal to just one goal, while they were able to get two goals from Nick Tomasello and Bryce Miller. Heading into the final frame Stanford still held a commanding 8-4 lead.

In the final quarter the UCSB offense matched their defensive effort as they outscored Stanford 3-1, but it was not enough to try to crawl back in and get in this game. The slow start is really what hurt UCSB, give any top team a four-goal and good luck trying to comeback from that deficit.

UCSB head coach Wolf Wigo felt that the team started off flat, and that they just ran out of time in the second half:

"We started out sort of flat and missed some of our power play opportunities," Wigo said. "And [we] didn't get as many in the second half and it really cost it as we dug to deep of a hole."

"We are a second half team we got a lot of depth we did a really good job coming back and getting into the game, but unfortunately it was too little too late."

Here are some highlights as well as post game interviews from Wigo, and players:

1

2

3

4

Final

Stanford

4

3

1

1

9

UC Santa Barbara

0

2

2

3

7

Stanford Goals: Avery, Bowen, Churnside, Hoversten, Watkins (2), Bonnani (3)
Stanford Saves: Platshon (10)

UC Santa Barbara Goals: D. Baliani, Dellinger (2), Miller (2), Tomasello (2)
UC Santa Barbara Saves: Christian (7)

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