The Long Beach State Hockey Club earned its first victory of the season versus Grand Canyon University Friday.
The Beach (1-4) was able to stave off the Lopes with their high-powered offense, winning 5-4.
Long Beach head coach Sean Hoang said after the first period the Beach could clean up their play a little more but was happy with the overall movement.
“Our third line is starting to play like our first line and more guys are getting more opportunities,” Hoang said.
After seven minutes of relentless defense in the first period by the Lopes, the Beach swiftly took a 2-0 lead after goals by Francis Lemay at 13:54 and Ryan Osterkamp at 11:43.
The Beach continued to pour it on early, with a flawless assist by Lemay to center Nicholas Schrepfer who put the Beach up 3-0 at 8:55 in the first period. Schreper shined in the first period, notching his second goal at 2:48.
“They didn’t seem that much better than us, but they brought it,” GCU head coach Scott Baglien said of the Lopes who remain winless. “They kept us in the corners and we just got beat to the puck.”
GCU responded early in the second period with a goal at 15:57.
After nearly 14 minutes of scoreless play in the second period, Schrepfer earned himself a hat trick at 1:54 to give the Beach a 5-1 lead.
“It feels pretty cool tonight to get the trick, I got lucky,” Schrepfer said. “We worked as a team tonight and the scoreboard reflects that.”
Drama ensued before the end of the second period when Long Beach team captain Lemay was disqualified with a minute remaining.
Lemay will also be forced to sit out the next game against the University of San Diego.
“I’m pretty furious,” Lemay said. “I was looking for trouble and when I lowered into him, we made head contact but the referee thought I did it on purpose and tossed me.”
In the third period, GCU began to inch its way back into the game, notching two goals within the first two minutes to make it 5-3.
The Beach defense sputtered in the third period when GCU’s Drew Murchison scored with 2:48 remaining.
“We let up in the third and let them catch up but we squeaked one out and a win is a win,” Hoang said.
The Long Beach State Hockey Club’s next game will be Oct. 19 vs University of San Diego at 8:40 p.m. at Oceanside Ice Arena.