College hockey in California often is overlooked because there are no NCAA Div. 1 hockey programs in the Golden State despite it being the most populated state in the country.
Regardless of the generally low hockey participation on the banks of the Pacific, the California State University-Northridge hockey team is determined to suit up the best team possible. To do so, head coach JP Gale is working on building a pipeline of Northeast hockey talent to complement his roster, which primarily is composed of California skaters.
"They’ve got tons of great players and a rich hockey tradition," Gale said of the Northeast. "It’s a place you can keep your eye on and get an idea of a ton of players who might fit and want the opportunity."
The Cal State-Northridge Matadors are a club hockey team that competes in Division 2 of the American Collegiate Hockey Association. While they might not be an NCAA team, the Matadors still play at a competitive skill level. For example, 2018 commit Grayson Szumilas of Camden, Maine, was looking at playing for an NCAA Div. 3 team after putting up 42 points in 47 games for the Vancouver Rangers of the Western States Hockey League last season. Certainly the added perk of playing hockey in Los Angeles did not hurt the forward’s school choice.