MOUNTLAKE TERRACE - Sophomore defenseman Josh McGrew (Edmonds) had eight career points in 38 games before Friday's Pacific-8 Hockey Conference home matchup with the UCLA Bruins at Olympicview Arena.
All eight of those points had come via assists.
Friday night changed all that. In his 39th career game with the Huskies, and with Washington up 2-0 late in the second period, McGrew blistered a shot from near the left faceoff circle and put it past Bruins goaltender Gabe Elvin extending the UW lead to 3-0.
After 39 games, he finally can keep his first piece of memorabilia.
Washington's first home game in two months was a sigh of relief for the players and head coach Matt Cleeton as the Huskies doubled up on the Bruins, 6-3, extending UCLA's winless streak to nine games in the conference.
After UCLA's Christian Tabone (cross-checking) and Michael Rosholt (hooking) both went to the box simultaneously, the Huskies wasted no time using its 5-on-3 advantage as junior forward JD White (Kenmore) tapped the puck in for a 1-0 Washington lead. It was White's tenth goal on the season. White would assist on freshman defenseman Ryan Jaromin's ninth goal of the season early in the second period to extend the Husky lead to 2-0. Just 17 seconds after McGrew's first goal of his career gave the Huskies a 3-0, Alex Black (Boulder, Colorado) would make it 4-0. The senior left winger's 12th goal on the season would be his third game-winner of the season.
After Tabone (holding) and the Huskies' Tyler Jennings (hooking) and Cory Tung (roughing) all went in their respective boxes at 19:14, the Bruins would convert on the power play just 18 seconds later to break the shutout as Brandon Hsiao beat goaltender Jeff Miles (San Diego, California) to go to the locker room down 4-1 through two periods.
It would be back and forth scoring between the two clubs in the third period. Nick Katzaroff would cut the Husky lead in half at 4-2 at 6:29. But Tavin Jackson (Point Roberts) would score one of his two goals in the third period to extend the lead back to three at 5-2 at the 8:52 mark. Tabone would score at 18:39 cutting back the Husky lead to 5-3, but Jackson would tap in the empty netter to finalize the game and the Huskies would pull away with the 6-3 win.
Miles would stop 21 of 24 shots to improve to 6-7-1-0 (5-2-1-0, Pac-8 games). UCLA goaltender Gabe Elvin would stop 36 of 41 shots to take the loss.
Washington 3, UCLA 0
Jordan Fitzgibbon (Whitby, Ontario) scored just 72 seconds into Saturday night's contest and graduate goaltender James Feldman (Anchorage, Alaska) stopped all 35 shots in the Huskies' regular season series sweep of the Bruins. It was the second game-winning goal on the season for Fitzgibbon, his fourth overall.
Mason Friedman (San Ramon, California) would score his eighth goal on the season in the second period while Tyler Jennings (Black Diamond) added the empty-netter with 36.1 seconds left as Washington improved their season records to 7-2-1-0 in the Pac-8, and 12-7-1-1 overall.
Feldman, who announced to his teammates in the locker room prior to the start of the third period that this would be his final home game of his career, improved his record to 5-0-0-1 (wins, regulation loss, tie, overtime/shootout loss). Although he knew it was his last game, the main focus was on the game itself and getting that fifth win for his hockey club in goal.
"I was pretty focused on finishing out the game," said Feldman, who does plan on playing the final two games of the I-5 Cup in Eugene against the Oregon Ducks next weekend. "But I got a little emotional after the game. They really played hard in the third period, and I actually thought it was one of the best periods we've played all season. I appreciated the effort, and I teared up a bit knowing I just played my last game in front of the home crowd."
Elvin would stop 25 of 27 shots as the Bruins are now 0-10 in Pac-8 play.
HUSKY HOCKEY NOTES
- White has scored is on a four-game point streak (six points) entering this weekend. He and Black earned four points (goal, three assists) in this weekend's sweep over UCLA.
- Full scratches from the weekend were Lucas Semkiw, Steven Chiu, and Kevin Sigler. Sitting out Friday night's game were Debbie Chen, Graham Gustafson, and Tyler Haugen; Miles and Lawrence Taicz would sit out Saturday night's game.
- Washington closed out their home portion of their Pacific-8 Hockey Conference schedule going undefeated in six games (5-0-1). Their final two home games (vs. Portland State University Vikings - January 29th & 30th) will close out their regular season schedule before heading to the Pac-8 Tournament in South Lake Tahoe, California. The Huskies current home record stands at 8-1-1-0.
- Huskies will embark on a five-game road trip in three cities and two states during the next two weekends beginning on Thursday (7:15 pm Seattle / 8:15 pm Mountain time) in Greeley, Colorado versus the University of Northern Colorado Bears, who are ranked eighth in the latest ACHA Division 2 West Region rankings. It will be their only meeting of the season between the two schools. Washington will then play two games (Friday & Saturday nights, 7 pm Seattle / 8 pm Mountain time) at the University of Denver Pioneers, who are 11th-ranked in the region. The road trip concludes next weekend against Oregon to conclude the I-5 Cup Series in Eugene.