Still in search of their first win of the season, the Oregon Ducks hockey team (0-4) fell to the USC Trojans by a score 7-4 on Saturday night in Eugene.
The Trojans scored six straight to take command of the game. USC freshman forward James Koch led the Trojans with four goals.
When the game first started it, appeared the Ducks would pick up right where they left off Friday night when they nearly came from behind to steal a game from the Trojans. The Ducks finished last Friday’s game with two unanswered goals, and began Saturday’s game with two unanswered goals.
After making a substitution, USC had a slow time trying to move the puck down ice and Cody Drees was able to connect off of a deflection to give the Ducks a 1-0 lead with 8:50 remaining in the first period. Just over a minute later, Trevor Shott gave the Ducks a 2-0 lead.
Harrison Landers nearly added a third goal in a barrage attack by the Ducks, but it went off the center post. USC dumped the puck down to the other end and Koch was able to fire in a goal to cut the Oregon lead to 2-1 with 6:29 remaining.
After spending nearly all of the first period in the Ducks’ offensive zone, USC began to have an easier time moving the puck down to their zone for the rest of the first period. The solid play by the Trojans that ended the first period carried over to the second period and the rest of the game.
Sophomore Chris Mattox regained the two goal advantage for the Ducks with 15:44 remaining into the second period, but USC quickly got back on the attack and made it a 3-2 game.
With 14:01 remaining Koch connected for his second goal of the game to tie the game for USC at 3-3. Each of Koch’s two goals were set up by intercepted passes that left Oregon goalie Jackson Howery with few options to defend the goal.
USC had their first power play opportunity with 7:34 remaining in the second period and Aaron Brownell took advantage with a power play goal with 6:08 remaining in the period to give the Trojans the 4-3 lead.
The Trojans made sure to leave no doubt in the third period. They connected on three straight goals within the first two minute of the period to extend the lead to four. Koch was responsible for two of those goals, giving him four on the night.
The Ducks made a change back to Friday night’s starting goalkeeper, Noah Rosenberg, and held the Trojans scoreless the rest of the way. Shott added his second goal of the game on a four-on-four late in the third period to give the game it’s final margin.
The Ducks next have an Alumni game on Oct. 28 followed by a six game road trip.
Follow Zak Laster on Twitter: @zlast3445