Friday night at Logitech Ice Center SJSU goaltender Ryan Lowe dressed as backup, while alternate Joe Best watched his teammates take on the Palmer College Pride from the other side of the glass.
It was Martin Moody’s turn to backstop the 4th ranked Spartans and he was psyched.
“I found out I was going to play 20 minutes before face-off,” Moody said. “It’s a good chance to get some playing time this season and show what I can do.”
Moody made is first save of the 2004-2005 season at 2:02 of the first period, stoning a Palmer forward with a great kick save.
The Spartan netminder had to wait nearly seven minutes before he was forced to drop and close the five-hole on the Pride’s second shot of the opening period.
Moody said it was fun getting the opportunity to play, though he didn’t face many shots.
“The guys did a good job of keeping everything wide and not giving them a lot of scoring chances,” Moody said.
The Pride, with less than 15 skaters on the bench, managed to hold off the Spartans’ offense for nearly 12 minutes before being assessed a roughing penalty.
SJSU capitalized on the power play as Mason Nave posted at the far boards threw the puck to blueliner Andy Whiteside standing in the slot for the quick snap shot to beat Quebec native Kevin Bruinsma in the crease.
Seconds later, former Palmer forward Adam Dekeyral was called for hooking against his old team and the Spartans were forced to play shorthanded for the second time in the opening period.
Less than a minute into their man advantage, on just their third shot of the contest, Palmer forward Cory Hewes solved Moody with a fluky goal to tie the game at one-apiece.
“The first goal was weird because the guy chipped it out from behind the net, then the guy batted it down and shot the puck all in one motion - so it was just a weird reaction play,” Moody said.
At 15:52 rookie defenseman Zach Glasow was called for high-sticking, which put the Pride back on the power play.
However, it was “Dr. Deke” and the “Roller Hockey Line” that struck with a man down to regain the lead as Kelly Spain fed the puck to Dekeyral who wristed the bisquit past Bruinsma’s glove.
Five minutes into the middle stanza, SJSU’s top line of Ray Kellam, Mason Nave and Sean Scarbrough set the Spartans’ up with some insurance as Scarbrough roofed the puck on their 21st shot of the night.
Yet, less than a minute later Palmer answered right back as they managed a 2-on-1 breakaway that resulted in their second goal.
“The second (Palmer goal) was back and forth passing and I just kept sliding one direction and the guy carried it past me,” Moody said. “The puck went low stick side.”
Two minutes later, Glasow lit the lamp when his shot from the point connected with the far lower corner of the net to provide the Spartans with a 4-2 lead.
With 5:43 left to play in the second session, Palmer forward Dave Smaldone hit Spartan rookie Jeff Mattern from behind in the neutral zone, knocking him to the ice. Smaldone then dropped on top of Mattern and proceeded to throw a few punches before the refs could pull him off.
Smaldone was tossed from the game, forcing his undermanned team to play with an even shorter bench.
On the resulting five minute SJSU power play, Mattern found retribution when his back handed shot bulged the twine to put the Spartans up by three before the final stanza.
The Roller Hockey line was at it again in the third period as Spain found the back of the net at 3:09 with helpers from Dekeyral and Jon King.
Veteran forward Max Ramsey set the Spartans up for lucky goal No. 7 as his shot was deflected out to freshman Skyler Yu who connected with the follow up for a final score of 7-2.
Palmer College managed to register just 13 shots on goal.
“They’ve got some guys who can put some points up on the board, but we did a real good job of playing some defense,” Moody said. “It was definitely fun, despite three or four minutes in between shots – from what I got it was a good game.”
20-year old Martin Moody has been manning the crease for nearly a decade.
AS: “Which netminder has influenced your game?”
MM: “Growing up it was Marty Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils because I saw them play the Sharks back in ’94. I was a young kid just starting at goaltending and that’s when I got hooked – inspired.”
AS: “Is that who you try to emulate your style after?”
MM: “No. I’m a lot bigger. I just try to take up as much of the net as possible and stay square to the puck. They have quick reaction time; I just try to fill the net.”