losing a heartbreaker to UCLA.
The Anteaters' performance against the Bruins showed substantial
improvement over a week ago against the Trojans, particularly on the
power play. UCI was 5 for 8 with the man advantage against UCLA,
including 3 for 3 in the third period.
With the score tied 4-4 midway through the third period, UCLA's
David Pietsch was called for an exclusion. On the ensuing power play,
UCI swung the ball around from left to right, from Dreason Barry to
Cole Bitter to left-hander Nate White, who slammed the ball home to
give the Anteaters a 5-4 lead with 3:21 left in the third period.
White and Barry led the Anteaters with three goals each.
"White has stepped up this year. He's confident and maturing as a
player," Hunt said.
White struck again, trading power play goals with UCLA's Christian
Pulido, then after another Pietsch exclusion, Cole Bitter took the
ball in deep and skipped it off the water into the goal with one
second left to give UCI a 7-5 lead going into the fourth period.
Goalkeeper Matt Garcia made a point-blank save on 6-foot-4,
235-pound Grant Zider with UCLA on the power play early in the fourth
period. But Garcia (12 saves) and the UCI defense couldn't hold off
UCLA down the stretch.
Matthew Jacobs scored twice in the fourth period for UCLA,
including one on a breakaway off an outlet pass from John Blanchette
with 46 seconds left in regulation to tie the game 7-7.
With 30 seconds left in regulation after Hunt told Barry to post
up, the 6-foot-9, 225-pound All-American turned his back to the net
and took a pass. He was promptly fouled by Jacobs, giving the
Anteaters a power play with 24 seconds left in regulation. Hunt
called a timeout to set up a play, but Aaron Adams' shot from the
left side was deflected by UCLA goalkeeper Will Didinger. The ball
floated toward the far post but never made it past the goal line.
UCI looked out of gas in overtime. UCLA's Grant Zider scored on a
breakaway at 2:36 of the first overtime period. Pietsch added an
insurance goal in the second overtime period. Barry hit a cross bar