Club Sports, Sports

Long Beach State hockey hobbles to the finish line despite graduation

The Beach club hockey team’s 2023-24 season did not go as planned after losing 13 players to graduation.

Even though it was a tough season for LBSU, there were some amazing moments. One of these moments happened early in the season when The Beach swept Fresno State University Bulldogs, UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs and Santa Clara University Broncos on a three-game road trip up the coast.

Long Beach State won two games at home against divisional opponents UC Irvine and the Cal Lutheran Kingsmen.

Long Beach State taking 1st period faceoff against Cal Lutheran Kingsmen on December 2nd, 2023
Long Beach State club hockey taking the first-period faceoff against the Cal Lutheran Kingsmen at Lakewood Ice on Dec. 2, 2023. Photo credit: Cora Hessom

LBSU senior forward Paul Wagner reflected on his time playing for The Beach over the past three seasons and what he will miss the most during his time playing.

“It’s honestly been the greatest experience playing hockey,” Wagner said. “Just with all of my friends, all the boys you really get to know each other and you really get close to one another, and to finish off here is honestly such a pleasure.”

The Beach switched between goaltenders Nicholas Galloni and Evan Pawluk for each game the team faced.

“Nick has been a backup for two years and this year really took on the starter role so he has really stepped up and really kind of taken the reins and led the goaltending,” Eric Raimondo, the club hockey head coach, said.

Galloni said his style of play is a butterfly style of goalkeeping and discusses how he learned a lot from previous goalies who played at The Beach last season.

“The last two years we had an amazing goalie that just graduated last year, so I have just been kinda trying my best to learn from him and apply it to my own game,” Galloni said.

Long Beach State celebrating a win over UCSD Tritons on November 10th, 2023
Long Beach State club hockey celebrating a win over the UCSD Tritons at Lakewood Ice on November 10, 2023. The Beach would struggle all season after losing 13 players to graduation. Photo credit: Cora Hessom

The Beach’s leading scorers from this season were veteran senior forwards Easton Laird and Allen Howland as each managed to score a combined total of 20 goals on the season.

Long Beach State’s 2023-24 season ended in the first round of the playoffs as the team fell by a score of 4-1 against the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos.

The Beach will be back in action for the 2024-25 WCHC season next coming semester and the team holds tryouts in September, open to all students who are interested or have hockey experience.

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