California Hockey in a College Winter Classic

California and WVU Take the Battle Outside


Nate Kurtz

Vulcans Hockey in their first Annual Outdoor Game

Jonathan Sakaguchi, Sports Editor

Monday night, Jan. 16, 2023, the Vulcans traveled up to South Park Skating Rink for a conference match up with the West Virginia Mountaineers. This would be the first game for either team since the holidays.  

With students and fans from both sides traveling up Rt. 51 to the rink, the stands were packed, and numerous fans surrounded the rink standing by the glass and the nearby fire pits. Others opted to watch the game inside the warm building, watching from the second-floor overlook, which kept the boosters busy at the gift table, 50/50, and chuck a puck.  

The Vulcans jumped out to an early 1-0 lead minutes into the first. Just passed the 8:50 mark of the first, California Captain Toney Manual scored to give the Vulcans a 2-0 lead. With Time winding down in the opening frame, the Mountaineers would get a little bit of momentum back after getting a late power play that would roll over into the 2nd period. 

Vulcans Captain Tony Manuel (Nate Kurtz)

The Vulcans would kill off the penalty and then go back to work. The Vulcans had several scoring chances, but the Mountaineers’ goaltender Andrew Nogowski stood tall.  

 WVU would get a second power play as Jessie Jeffries would go to the box for boarding. With 44 seconds left on the power play, WVU scored to cut the lead in half and made it a 2-1 game. The tides would turn in favor of the Mountaineers after a double minor from the Vulcans Captain Tony Manuel for cross checking and unsportsmanlike conduct.  

California would kill the first penalty, but WVU would not let the Vulcans get their momentum back. WVU gave up 2 odd man breaks to the Vulcans on the power play, but California could not capitalize.  

WVU scored on the unsportsmanlike penalty from Manuel to make it 2-2 and would go to the locker room tied.  

Vulcans Goalie (Nate Kurtz)

The third period would be split into 2 10-minute half’s so both teams had to deal with the shadow end of the rink. The Mountaineers scored early around the 5 minute mark of the third. The remainder of the period was a back-and-forth battle. The Vulcans would get some traction as they started to pepper shots on the WVU net.  

California Coach Jason Greenway called time out with 1:49 left in regulation. Down 3-2 the Vulcans pulled the goalie to get the extra attacker. The Vulcans had three scoring chances that hit off the goal post and cross bar. California lost control of the puck and the Mountaineers put the game on ice, scoring an empty net goal with 25 seconds left in the game. California battled out the final seconds, but WVU hung on for the win, with the final score 4-2 

“In some ways this was better for us,” said Coach Greenway. “They (West Virgina) played in the same conditions that we did but they just out played us tonight. We have to get back to playing a full game. We played a good 20 minutes, and you can’t expect to win so we to get back out there and playing a full game.” 

“It was a great opportunity we appreciate Cal for invite to get to play in this game,” said West Virginia Coach Andrew Piatt. “We just need to make more solid tape to tape passes and not turn the puck over as often. Was a difficult dealing with the shadows at the one end but it was an element we had to deal with. We made some adjustments after the first and the boys played a good game.”  

Both teams are back to action this weekend when California gets back to conference play. 

California vs West Virginia (Nate Kurtz)