November 12, 2015
Salt Lake City, UT
The University of Utah Skatin’ Utes return home this weekend as they take on two California squads in hopes of keeping their unbeaten streak alive, both in the PAC-8 Conference and the season as a whole.
The Utes will put their 14-game unbeaten streak on the line starting on Thursday as the 12th ranked Cal State Northridge Matadors come to town for the first ever meeting between the two schools. Not only is this the first meeting between the two squads, it’ll also mark the first ever trip to Utah for the Matadors in team history.
CSUN comes into Thursday’s contest with a 6-6-1 record, coming off a 6-1 win over Chapman and a 7-0 loss to #7 Weber State last weekend. The Matadors are 0-1-1 against the current top ten of the ACHA West Division, earning a draw against ASU Maroon earlier in the season. Eli Berengut leads the way for the Matadors on offense with a team-leading 19 points on the season. Close behind him are Alex Reints and Brian Carcerano, who have 17 and 16 points respectively.
In between the pipes for CSUN will most likely be Brandon Kalvoda, who’s appeared in every game so far for the Matadors this season. Kalvoda currently has a 4.60 GAA and a .876 save percentage on the season.
After Thursday night’s contest against the Matadors, the Utes re-focus their attention back to PAC-8 Conference play as they take on the UCLA Bruins Friday and Saturday night at the Utah Ice Sheet. The Utes and Bruins haven’t met since the 2012-2013 season, where Utah went 3-0 against the Bruins and outscored them 42-4 in those three contests.
UCLA is currently 3-7 on the season and 0-4 in the PAC-8 Conference with all four losses coming against Cal. The Bruins are coming off a pair of losses to Cal last weekend in the Bay Area and will look for not only their first PAC-8 win of the season, but also their first win ever against the Utes.
Nicholas Katzaroff lead the Bruins with 13 points so far on the season, ahead of three other teammates who are tied for second with seven points each. Gabe Elvin is in between the pipes this year for UCLA with a 6.17 GAA and .834 save percentage.
As for Utah, the second-ranked Utes will look to extend their record-breaking 14-game unbeaten streak through another week of the season after sweeping Oregon in Eugene last weekend. The team now sits at 12-0-2 on the season and 4-0 in PAC-8 Conference play. The team’s 708-minute streak of not trailing will also be on the line this weekend, with a chance to extend that streak to over 800 minutes since the last time the Utes have trailed in a game.
Brett Myer currently leads the team with 23 points after scoring five goals in his last game against Oregon last Saturday night. Behind him is Shaymus Bertagnolli with 15 points this season, and is just one assist shy of tying his brother Beau for 2nd in career assists in Utah team history. He’s also just four assists behind Michael Vrtis for the all-time record holder with 120 career assists as well.
Both Chris Komma and Devan Betts have been absolutely superb in net for Utah this season. Both goaltenders are 5-0-1 on the season with Komma sporting a 1.67 GAA and .917 save percentage while Betts is close behind with a 1.83 GAA and .908 save percentage.
Thursday night’s game against Cal State Northridge will take place at 9:30pm MT at the Utah Ice Sheet. Friday’s game against UCLA will be at 7pm and Saturday’s game against the Bruins will be at 8:30pm. All three games will be broadcasted live on Utah Hockey Game Day Live.