By Mateo Lopez, Oct. 26, 2021
On Oct. 23, the CPP men’s roller hockey team defeated San Jose State 12-1 in their opening match of the 2021-22 season at The Rinks-Irvine Inline.
The game marks the first of four matches scheduled for the remainder of the year.
The Broncos relied heavily on offensive strategies during the match, scoring four goals in the first period and six goals in the second. Throughout the game, the Spartans were scoreless.
Head Coach John Paerels credits his team’s chemistry, efforts and consistent practice for the wins.
“I thought we really came together quickly. We kicked off and played a solid game against that team,” said Paerels. “We had a championship team two years ago and everybody from that team has graduated now so it’s all brand new. We got two guys moved up from our lower team. Everybody else is new; it’s a challenge bringing everyone together.”
When the Broncos faced the SJSU Spartans on March 8, 2020, the Broncos claimed an 8-7 playoff victory.
Forwards Peter Lupercio and Christopher Melendez completed a hat trick by the second period, which occurs when a player scores three or more goals in a single match. Lupercio and Melendez capped off the team’s first hat trick of the 2021-2022 season.
Melendez expressed his enthusiasm after finishing the game with five points off four goals and one assist.
“It’s amazing. I wanted to play at a rink like one of these everyday but because of COVID, they were closed,” said Melendez. “When you finally hop on the rink again it feels like home. It feels pretty good.”
Since the team’s last season was postponed due to the pandemic, only three players from the 2019-2020 season have returned to play for 2021-2022.
Lupercio, who suffered a minor knee injury after blocking a shot attempt late in the third period of the match, believes the team’s flourishing ability to communicate on the rink will bring success in the matches to come.
“I think we have a strong team this year and I think we can definitely put some numbers on the board,” said Lupercio. “When we’re talking with each other out there, ‘I’m open’, ‘Behind you’. You keep a look out for your teammates,” said Lupercio.
Although the roster consists of six new players, the team has set high expectations for themselves moving forward in the season.
“We should be one of the top teams of the league this season. As the season goes on everybody is going to get more comfortable playing together; I think we’ll be right in the mix for the championship at the end,” said Paerels.
The team will travel to San Jose, California for the second event of the season on Nov. 6-7.
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