Fullerton off to fast start in WCRHL
Cal State University-Fullerton and the University of San Diego got a jump on the rest of the Division II teams in the Western Collegiate Roller Hockey League (WCRHL) this season by playing a two-game series on Oct. 17 at The Rinks-Irvine Inline.
Fullerton won both contests – 3-1 and 12-5 – to open the season with a 2-0 edge.
“I’m excited to say that the Fullerton Titans are back,” Titans forward Andrew Berger offered in an enthusiastic tone after his team followed up the opening two-game series against the Toreros by posting a 3-1 mark at the WCRHL’s kickoff event the following weekend in San Jose.
“We’re thrilled to be back playing hockey again after last season’s disappointing ending (the Titans fell just short of regionals),” added Berger, whose team improved to 5-1 to start this season.
Fullerton looks to make up some ground on last season’s 6-12-1 record after posting a perfect 27-0 season in 2013-14 to win the Division II national championship.
Team scoring leaders through the six games included Kiefer Lupascu (11 goals, 14 points) and J.P. Merrick (seven goals, 12 points), while goaltender Ron Best cobbled together a 5-1 record to compliment a 2.67 goals-against average, .853 save percentage and one shutout victory.
Lupascu led the team with two game-winning goals.
Best made 14 saves to post a .933 save percentage in making his WCRHL debut against USD, while Berger scored two goals as the game’s No. 1 star.
“This year we have high expectations with the core group of players who are returning, along with four new freshmen faces we’ve added to the squad,” Berger saud. “The chemistry our group has is unparalleled to any team I’ve ever been a part of, and I’m confident that’ll allow us keep building on our quick start.”
In the two games against the Titans, Jon Oberg tallied six goals for USD, which finished 10-5-1 in last year’s Division II standings.
– Phillip Brents