Cal Squares Off Against Stanford Before Skating Into Postseason





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Since Grizzly Peak was white with snow last week, it feels more like winter in Berkeley.

Even with the Winter Olympics putting the National Hockey League on hiatus next week, there's still rink action to be seen.

The Cal ice hockey team will be in action, looking to head into the postseason on a high note, beginning with its game against Stanford tonight at Berkeley Iceland. The puck drops at 8:30 p.m.

The Bears (8-10, 7-3 in the Pac-8) are coming off an incredible week having received confirmation that they've made the Pac-8 playoffs for the first time in five seasons.

The postseason berth is due in large part to their 7-2 win over Stanford last Tuesday.

On Feb. 15, the Bears will face USC in a first-round playoff game at the San Jose Ice Center.

Washington, which won the Pac-8, will face the Cardinal in the other opening-round matchup.

The Huskies claimed the regular-season crown, followed by the Trojans, the Bears and Oregon. Stanford, however, will be in the tournament instead of the Ducks since it is hosting the playoffs.

With last week's win, Cal improved to 3-0 against its cross-bay rivals, reclaiming The Skate-hockey's version of The Axe-after five years in Stanford's possession.

The Cardinal (8-15, 5-12) had dominated the Bears in recent years. In the previous four seasons, Stanford was 15-1 against Cal.

The golden skate will be returned to the Bears in a post-game presentation Thursday night.

Along with wanting to perform well before receiving The Skate, the Bears want to go into next week's playoffs with their current momentum intact.

In reference to tonight's game, club president and senior left wing Vache Moroyan said a victory is within reach.

"As long as we stick to our game plan, play good solid defense and capitalize on our chances, we should walk away with the win," he said.

The Bears are a young team, making their push toward the postseason even more impressive.

"The majority of the team is made up of freshmen and sophomores," Moroyan said.

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