Hockey Shoots Into Playoffs With Smashing of Stanford

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The Cal ice hockey team is heading to the playoffs after defeating Stanford 7-5 at Berkeley Iceland last Thursday night.

In the first round of the four-team Pac-8 playoff, Cal plays USC at the San Jose Ice Center Friday at 10:45 p.m.

Washington will face Stanford in the other game of the first round. Because its hosting the playoffs, Stanford will appear in place of fourth-place Oregon.

With last week's win, the Bears (9-10-0, 8-3-0 in the Pac-8) extended their season record against the Cardinal to a perfect 4-0 and, in doing so, regained possession of "The Skate" for the first time in five years.

The Bears' leading scorer, sophomore Jason Katzen, collected a hat trick Thursday night.

"(The win was) huge because last year we had four losses (against Stanford)," he said.

Stanford (8-16-0, 5-13-0) returned many of its players from last year's squad, so the turnaround appears more related to Cal's developing young team-made up of mostly freshmen and sophomores.

The team also credits much of its recent success to new coach Cyril Allen.

Though the Bears won convincingly, they did not always play like a dominant team.

"(Our play) wasn't exactly great," Katzen said. "We played the game in spurts."

With a well-sized crowd behind them, complete with Cal Band members and heckling fans, the Bears came out strong in the first period, dominating the ice with good puck control and aggressive play.

Cal scored twice in the first 10 minutes before Stanford replied with a goal of its own.

The second period belonged to the Cardinal and its star player, junior Bobby Jaros.

With his skill and speed, Jaros weaved through Cal defenders. He scored four minutes into the period to tie the game, and then again with less than two minutes left to take the lead 3-2.

The Bears regrouped during the break and began the final period focused and aware of what it had to accomplish.

Cal put on the pressure and pulled away from Stanford with five unanswered goals, retaking the lead and extending it to 7-3.

The Cardinal replied with some aggressive play and scored twice before the game ended, but it proved too little, too late and the Bears skated their way to a victorious post-game presentation of the golden skate.

Thursday's event was the last regular season game before this week's playoffs and also the final home game for the team's graduating seniors-including former captain Dareyn Stilwell.

Though the Bears lost to the Trojans early in the season, they've developed much as a team since and have won five of their last six games.


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