Yesterday afternoon, UCLA played Loyola Marymount in their first game of the Mountain Pacific Invitational, which is being played this year at Southern Cal and Loyola Marymount.
The Bruins won the game 7-4 to advance in the Winner’s Bracket.
Austin Rone started off the scoring for the Bruins with an even strength goal with 3:28 to go in the first quarter. Less than a minute later, Jack Grover put the Bruins up by two and that was the only scoring in the first quarter.
About halfway through the second quarter, Alessio Brunocelli got the Lions on the board to make it 2-1, UCLA. Following a Jesse Camou exclusion with 3:24 to go in the half, LMU’s Zach Gleason capitalized on a penalty shot to tie the game at 2-2 and that was the score at the half.
The teams fought hard to start the third quarter. It wasn’t until there was 4:16 left that anybody scored a goal and it was Bruin James Robinson who broke the tie and gave UCLA a 3-2 win and, believe it or not, that was the only goal of the third quarter.
The Bruins knew they needed to get aggressive as play moved into the fourth. 28 seconds into the fourth quarter, Luke Henriksson got the Bruins an insurance goal. Exactly two minutes later, Max Irving scored the game-winner when he made it 5-2, Bruins. Eric Goldenberg got the Bruins their fourth straight goal when he made it 6-2 with 3:14 to go. Just 28 seconds later, Robinson scored his second goal of the game to make it 7-2 Bruins.
Austin Clark added a goal for LMU just 12 seconds after Robinson’s goal and it was 7-3. Brunocelli scored his second goal of the game with just 29 seconds left and the Lions just ran out of time.
This morning, the Bruins will face the #5 Pacific Tigers at 10:15 am in a quarterfinal game. The winner will play the winner of #1 UC Berkeley and #9 Pepperdine while the loser will play the loser of UC Berkeley and Pepperdine. That game will be played at 9 am right before the Bruins’ game. So, we’ll know UCLA’s second game opponent as soon as the Bruins finish their game.
UPDATE (1:16 PM): #4 UCLA topped #5 Pacific 9-8 and now faces #1 UC Berkeley at 3:15pm in a semifinal game, giving the Bruins a chance to move up in the polls.