|Your Spartans hit the road (for real, this time) as they'll make the swing down to Southern California for three games.
SJSU leaves bright and early Friday morning to reach San Diego in time for a 9 pm match-up with San Deigo State. They'll head up to Lakewood on Saturday to take on Long Beach State at 7:30 pm. Sunday is getaway day again, with an early game to wrap up the trip against Cal State Fullerton at 9:25 am.
For any fans stuck in the Bay Area hoping to watch the game, you can catch live streaming video on Black Dog Enterprises. Jonathan Wold and Chad Oklin-Jolin will be on the call for all 3 games.
KNOW YOUR ENEMIES
San Diego State University Aztecs
Just a few years ago, this would have been the battle for California supremacy. This season, the title of "best in Califonia" is a little more murky. The Aztecs are still certainly in the hunt though this season with a 5-3 record on the year - including a very impressive 5-1 record at home.
The Aztecs started the year with wins against CS Northridge and UNLV twice. They ran into a speed bump losing twice to Northern Arizona before crushing Chapman and splitting a series with ASU Pac-8.
SDSU boasts a deep offense with 7 players already having 7 points on the year. They are led offensively by John Riley, who has 6 goals and 7 assists in 8 games this year. In net, Connor O'Brien has seen the majority of the time, earning a 3-2 record with a 4.34 goals against average and an .868 save percentage.
California State University Long Beach 49ers
The 49ers will be taking on their first opponent outside of SoCal when the Spartans come to town. They come in with a hard-fought 3-2 record, and will likely be 4-2 after taking on Chapman the night before.
Long Beach split a series with Fullerton to begin the year, then dropped a heartbreaker to Loyola-Marymount. Since then, they dismantled Chapman 20-2, and won 8-2 over UCLA.
The 49ers currently have six players at or above a point-per-game pace. The vast majority of the damage comes from Ian Hoang and Zac Zomaya, who have combined for 32 points between them in just 5 games. Corey Jones leads the 49ers in goal with a 2-1 record and nice 2.92 goals against averaging with an .888 save percentage.
California State University Fullerton Titans
Fullerton ended last seasons as the #6 team in the Western region. You may remember them from last year's thrilling season-ending series in San Jose. The Spartans came from behind in both games for the victories: a 4-3 overtime win and a 7-5 victory. The Titans are looking to build on last year's finish with another strong year. So far, they're on pace with a 6-3 record.
The Titans are coming off back-to-back losses to Northern Arizona, but have wins over USC twice, Santa Rosa JC, Long Beach, Portland State and Texas A&M. Their only other loss came to the previously mentioned Long Beach 49ers.
Cal State Fullerton is led by Alec Censullo in scoring with 17 points in 9 games. David Marabella is right behind him though with 15 in 8 games. The Titans are not afraid to get rough either - already featuring 10 players with double-digit penalty minute totals. Trevor Wada is their usual starter in net. He's 3-3 on the season with a 4.63 goals against average and an .887 save percentage.
The Spartans are still missing Jacob Hickey from an already small roster. Considering the long drive down the day of their first game, will the Spartans be able to put in a full, 60-minute effort against SDSU?
With a wide open Western region this year, will the Spartans be able to separate themselves from a Long Beach squad that has kept every game close this season?
Based off last year's performance in San Jose, Cal State Fullerton will be looking to get some revenge. Will things get nasty or will the early start time settle some tensions?