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College hockey - Washington Huskies: Chen Earns first win; helps UW dominate Portland State in weekend sweep

UW female goalie gets first start & win behind stellar offensive performance from teammates; Jackson earns another huge multi-point game.

Washington Huskies goaltender Debbie Chen poses for a quick photo op after her first win on Sunday in Portland.
Washington Huskies goaltender Debbie Chen poses for a quick photo op after her first win on Sunday in Portland.
Lorenzo Z. Villalobos Jr.

PORTLAND, OR – It was a rare Saturday-Sunday weekend series for the University of Washington Huskies as they hit the Veterans Memorial Coliseum ice over this past weekend and took on a winless Portland State University Vikings team that only has one goaltender on its current roster in Nic Alberts.  The Huskies would bring all three of theirs on this road trip, a first of the season for the Huskies who normally would have freshman Jeff Miles start in goal, graduate student James Feldman not making any road trips, and freshman Debbie Chen as your occasional backup.

That all changed beginning on Saturday with head coach Matt Cleeton inserting Feldman into the starting lineup, and another repeat scoring performance for freshman center Tavin Jackson, who once again had another multi-point game. The bigger surprise…Chen earning her first start as a Husky and Miles being the backup in both games.

Washington 10, Portland State 5 (Saturday)

Entering Saturday night’s game, the Huskies had 500 team points amassed (85 goals, 123 assists) through 15 games this season.  Jackson notched up another six-point night including a hat trick as Washington, despite being tied at two after the first 20 minutes, was in total domination of Portland State with a 10-5 win.

This would be Jackson’s second six-point game in his young career – his first six-point game happened during the Huskies' 12-6 road win over Washington State back on October 24th in Spokane – and his ninth multi-point game of the season. The product from Point Roberts also notched up his third hat trick of the season, too.  His first goal came in at 16:24 of the first period that tied the game up at two before entering the locker room through one period.  He would score two more goals to tally up another hat trick.  His hat trick goal helped kickstart Washington's six unanswered goals that carried over into the third period that they would closeout the game with the win.

Assistant team captain / senior left winger Alex Black tallied up five points (a goal, four assists), and sophomore forward Keenan Smith picked up two points (goal and assist). They were the only other players with multiple points in the win.

The game started with half of the game nearly being a back-and-forth scoring affair. After Bryan Frietag gave Portland State a 1-0 lead just four minutes into the game, freshman forward Mason Friedman tied the game up at one. But before Jackson scored to help the Huskies regain the lead to 2-1, Steven Boeschenstein would help the Vikings tie it up at two.

The Vikings would come out of the locker room to take their first lead of the night just 68 seconds into the second period when Stephen Eibert put Portland State up 3-2. All of Portland State’s first three goals of the game came via power play. Then on the ensuing faceoff, junior forward J.D. White would quickly tie it up at three just 13 seconds later on the ensuing faceoff.  Eibert would score again under two minutes later to help PSU get back up at 4-3. Just under four minutes later, Jackson would score his second of the night to tie the game at four.  Patrick Von Bachelle would then give the Vikings the lead back at 5-4, just 33 seconds later.

Portland State’s night was completely done…literally.

After PSU's Noah Dolinajec and Huskies sophomore forward Tyler Jennings went to their respective penalty boxes to serve out their coincidental double minors – cross-checking & roughing (Dolinajec), and double roughing minor (Jennings) – Jackson would score unassisted to complete his hat trick to tie the game at five.

This would become an unanswered domination by Washington.  Smith, Black, and senior defenseman / assistant captain Troy Gasser would score goals in the second period. Jennings and sophomore defenseman Joe Kinkopf would also score in the third period as Washington and Portland State would pile up a combined total of 28 penalties with each team committing 14 a piece.

Feldman would stop 22 of 27 shots to improve to 4-0-0 on the season. Alberts would save 48 of 58 shots in the defeat for the Vikings.

Washington 6, Portland State 2 (Sunday)

In just her second game appearance of the season, Chen was in goal for the Huskies. The 5'3" freshman from Taoyuan, Taiwan earned her first win of the season, stopping 22 of 24 Portland State shots as Washington only trailed 1-0 in the first period after Austin Martin’s goal 11:24 into the game.

Chen would get help from Smith with 25 seconds remaining in the period to tie the game at one. Black would give the Huskies the 2-1 lead before Gasser’s power play goal with 7:45 remaining in the second period gave UW the commanding 3-1 lead, a lead that would not be relinquished as his goal was enough to be the game-winner.  Jackson, senior forward / assistant captain Cory Tung, and and freshman defenseman Ryan Jaromin would add insurance goals to give Chen her first victory in a purple and gold jersey.

Both clubs would once again the same amount of minor penalties served with nine each.  One player that was undisciplined through most of the afternoon was the Vikings' Will Newman, who committed four penalties - high sticking (12:58, 1st period), tripping (6:43, 2nd period), hooking (10:29, 2nd period), and slashing (19:53, 3rd period).  It came to a point midway through the game that he had to be held and told by one of his teammates to go back to the bench after having some choice words at one of the Husky players.

Washington would finally score on the power play as Gasser would convert after the Newman hooking penalty at 12:15 of the second period.  The Huskies were, however, 1-for-8 on the man-advantage, including a 5-on-3 situation that resulted in two players from Portland State to be sent off for their respective minors (Newman - high-stick; Kyle Leonard - kneeing, 12:58 1st period).  Washington was unable to convert in that situation.

As the final buzzer sounded inside the city's historic Coliseum - home of the Western Hockey League's Winterhawks, and former home of the National Basketball Association's Trail Blazers - the entire bench went over to congratulate Chen, who played remarkably well and never stopped smiling, even while coming off the ice.

HUSKY HOCKEY NOTES...

Chen Recap

With her win, Debbie Chen's GAA (goals against average) dropped just below a five (4.93) with her save percentage at .793.  Her first game appearance was back on October 10th against the Montana Tech Orediggers in a neutral site game at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho.  She had to come in to replace Miles with 13:00 remaining in the second period of the Huskies' 16-2 defeat.She would allow four goals in those 13 minutes; Miles would re-take over in goal to start the third period that night.  Chen has yet to play any minutes on Olympicview Arena ice this season.

Scratches

A few players were unable to make the trip.  One of them was freshman forward Devin Garg, who has some family living in the Portland area.  Others not making the trip to Portland was freshmen forwards Steven Chiu and Lucas Semkiw, sophomore defensemen Graham Gustafson and Josh McGrew

Almost missing out of Saturday's game was J.D. White, who was a late arrival to the Coliseum but manage to get in uniform while the first period was happening.  The junior forward out of Kenmore was a big factor in killing off some of Portland State's power play.  His goal at 1:21 into the second period was his eighth on the season, and is now in a three-way tie with Garg and Jaromin for fifth amongst team scoring leaders with 16 points.

More Ice Time for Haugen

Tyler Haugen saw action in both weekend series games.  The junior forward out of New Richmond, Wisconsin, has seen a limited amount of ice time so far this season after recovering from an injury he was recovering from shortly after the season started.  So far he has played in eight games.

Tung Improves from Last Season's Totals

Cory Tung earned two points on Sunday afternoon with a goal and assist.  Through 17 games this season he has six points, and his Sunday game performance helped him surpass his four-point season from a year ago where he appeared in 23 games.  His goal with 12:20 left in Sunday's game was his first short-handed goal of the season.

Another Husky First

Besides Chen's first start and win in goal for UW, forward Lawrence Taicz (pronounced as 'tikes') notched up his first point in a Husky uniform.  The sophomore from Woodinville assisted on Mason Friedman's early first period goal that gave Washington the early 1-0 lead in Saturday night's win.

Huskies Break for Thanksgiving; Resume Action Next Weekend

There will be no hockey for the Huskies as the Thanksgiving weekend has officially arrived giving the players and coaches a well deserved week off, a first on the season for the team.  Washington improved to 10-6-1 after this weekend's sweep of Portland State.  After beating the Vikings - the Oregon version - the Huskies will play the Vikings again - this time the Western Washington University club that UW swept at home last month taking a 7-2 win in the first game, and a come-from-behind 7-6 overtime win in the second game (October 30th & 31st, respectively).

The Huskies will close out the calendar year portion of their regular season next Friday and Saturday nights with faceoff times set for 10:15 pm at the Bellingham Sportsplex.

Husky players congratulate goaltender Debbie Chen on her first career UW win.

(Photo credit - Lorenzo Z. Villalobos Jr.)