Revived Cal Poly Pomona back in business
Cal Poly Pomona won the Western Collegiate Roller Hockey League’s (WCRHL) inaugural Division I championship during the 1994 spring season and placed runner-up in the WCRHL Division I regional championship game in both 2001 and 2003 before winning the WCRHL’s Division II regional championship in 2008.
The Broncos are back in action for the first time since 2010-11 and appear to be kicking up some dust.
Club president Taylor Paerels said it took two years of conferences and paperwork before the university officially recognized the inline hockey club in January of 2015.
“Since then, we’ve held meetings and attended club fairs to promote the team to the student body,” Paerels said. “We’re committed to allowing all students at the university the opportunity to learn and play roller hockey.”
The club played its first games in late October during the WCRHL’s annual two-day kickoff event in San Jose. The Broncos finished 2-2.
“After a tough start against Chico State (a 9-0 setback), we bounced back with our first win against UC San Diego (3-2 in overtime),” Paerels said. “The next morning, we defeated the University of San Diego (7-1) and then lost a hard-fought game (5-3) to league-leading CSU Fullerton.”
Sean Molina scored the overtime-winner against UC San Diego, while teammate Mitchell Palaflox scored twice in support of winning goaltender Joshua Thompson (22 saves on 24 shots).
Molina and teammate Derick Rosas each scored two goals, while goaltender Garrett Griffin stopped 17 of 18 shots, in the win over UC San Diego.
Leading scorers at the semester break were Molina (four goals, five points) and Palafox (three goals, four assists). Thompson (3.50 goals-against average, .881 save percentage) and Griffin (5.00 goals-against average. .839 save percentage) each have one goaltending win to their credit.
Cal Poly Pomona is competing at the Division II level this season. It resumes regular-season tournament play on Jan. 30 in Hamilton City and also has a Feb. 6 event scheduled in Tucson before the season finishes up with a Feb. 20-21 tournament in Huntington Beach.
Paerels said the club hopes to have a second team compete at the Division IV level at the Huntington Beach event.
“We want to continue to improve as the season moves on,” Paerels said. “With any luck, we’ll advance to regionals in March and even nationals in April.”
– Phillip Brents