Hornets lose preseason tourney to Bear Cubs | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Hornets lose preseason tourney to Bear Cubs

Dan ThriftThe Hornets' Jim Watkins fires a shot on goal during a match with Santa Rosa on Saturday at South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena

The Hornets were happy to begin preseason hockey Friday in Tahoe, just not against the Santa Rosa Junior College Bear Cubs.

The Cubs mauled the California State University, Sacramento Hornets three games to none in a best-of three-tournament at South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena over the weekend.

The Cubs outscored the Hornets 15-6. They never trailed, and only allowed the Hornets to tie the game twice.

To the Hornets’ credit, they were without their star defenseman Scott Folina, who missed all three games due to a scheduling conflict, and are still getting a handle on their new facility.

“If (Folina) would have been here, we would have won every game,” said an optimistic Chris Perry, the Hornets’ team captain. “On defense you just can’t get by that guy and he’s great on offense, too.”

The Bear Cubs scored goals in each period Friday to lead 3-0 well into the third period. The Hornets then scored two goals in 8 seconds with less than two minutes remaining to come within one, but couldn’t make up the difference.

Game two started with an unassisted short-handed Santa Rosa goal by Tom Billeter with 4:33 to play in the first period.

The Hornets came back in the second period with a goal by defenseman Jim Watkins. Left wing Adam Hall assisted on the score.

Thirteen seconds later, however, Bear Cubs’ defensemen Aaron Prentes scored off a pass from Billeter.

The Hornets kept the hope alive when Keith Schouinard came back to score with 8:42 to go to tie the game at 2-2.

But the Bear Cubs came back with a third goal to take the lead heading into the third period.

They then scored the next three straight to take a 6-2 lead.

Perry eventually scored with 4:59 remaining, but by then the lead was too great. The Cubs won 8-3.

“They’re improved tremendously (from last to tonight),” said Rob Brown, head coach of the Bear Cubs. “They had better passing and better position. I think they ran out of gas, though.”

The Hornets lost the final game 4-1 Sunday morning.

The tournament is the first time college hockey has come to South Lake Tahoe, and although the teams are largely club programs competing in the Pacific Coast Hockey League, the competition is high and the hits are hard.

The Hornets host their regular-season home opener Oct. 12 against the University of California, Davis.

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