October 5, 2018
Western Washington University and University of Southern California’s ice hockey clubs will face-off for the first time on Friday, October 5 in Bellingham, Washington.
The 10:30 p.m. start on Friday will mark the start of WWU’s conference season, the team’s first as members of the ACHA Division II PAC-8 Conference. A second game will be played on Saturday, October 6 at 7:15 p.m.
New faces on the opposing bench will be a common theme for the conference-newcomer Vikings this year.
Western plays six games this season against teams it hasn’t faced in at least the last four years. Most of those games will be first-time matchups for WWU Hockey, not just its coaches and players.
USC was 4-1 at the time of publication pending a Thursday matchup with Loyola Marymount University. USC’s only loss came against UC-Berkeley, the No. 1 seed and eventual runner-up in last season’s Pac-8 Championships.
WWU finished its exhibition season 1-3 after a pair of home losses the previous weekend to Montana State University.
The Vikings will likely start freshman goaltender Jake Holden who made 52 saves in the first loss to Montana State and played well despite a 7-3 final in the second game.
Western has relied heavily on young players on defense this season with two freshman goalies and a defense corps laden with first-or-second-year Vikings. Freshman forward Andrew Gammel had points in each of the Vikings’ exhibition games.
WWU home games are played at Bellingham Sportsplex, a live video stream of the game is available on the WWU Hockey channel on YouTube.