Ice Dawgs Win OT Thriller

By: Tyler Farmer

After a convincing win in Thursday’s hope opener against Clemson, the Ice Dawgs played their second game in as many nights against Florida. This rivalry extends far beyond the gridiron, and the intensity was evident from the opening faceoff.

The first period was a defensive battle, and the goalies for both teams played extremely well. With 2:48 remaining in the period, sophomore defenseman Aaron Phillips lit the lamp to break the scoreless tie on an assist from freshman right winger Jack Marrara. Freshman goalie Emily Barber was rock solid in goal, saving all 12 Florida shots in the period. The Ice Dawgs led 1-0 going into the second period.

The Georgia lead quickly disappeared as Florida scored two goals within the first 47 seconds of the second period. At the 9:56 mark, Florida tacked on a power-play goal to extend their lead to 3-1. Now back at full strength, the Ice Dawgs seemed to regain their composure. After a flurry of chances and quality goal-scoring opportunities, senior center Zach Flasch cut the Florida lead in half with 3:52 remaining in the period. The goal was assisted by senior defenseman Cam Gilmore. Just two minutes later, senior left winger Stephen Bray tied it up on assists from freshman defenseman Dylan Ferguson and sophomore center Austin Krusko. Unfortunately, before the PA announcer could even mention Bray’s goal, Florida scored seconds after the faceoff to regain the lead, At the end of the second period, Florida held on to a 4-3 lead.

This game was full of lead changes and momentum swings, and the third period was no exception. Sophomore left winger Caleb Santa Maria answered the bell 59 seconds into the period to knot it at four on assists from senior forward Alex Carey and Flasch. Not to be outdone by his brother, junior center Christopher Santa Maria gave the Ice Dawgs a 5-4 lead with 15:50 remaining in regulation with assists by Bray and Caleb Santa Maria. This contest was certainly not for the faint of heart, and Florida scored the equalizer with 9:18 to go. For the remainder of regulation, the Ice Dawgs controlled the game. Thanks to accurate and well-timed passes in the offensive zone, the Ice Dawgs had several good goal-scoring opportunities. At one point, the puck was in the goal crease, and the Florida goalie wouldn’t have been in position to make a save. However, the chance went begging when a Florida defenseman swept the puck away before the Ice Dawgs could capitalize.

The sudden-death overtime is only a five-minute period, instead of the normal 20-minute periods. Georgia maintained control in overtime. Phillips swiftly sent the fans home happy by scoring the game-winning goal on an assist from junior defenseman Drew Holcombe with just over three minutes remaining. Final: 6-5 Ice Dawgs on Top!

The Ice Dawgs will travel to Jacksonville to play Florida again on Thursday. The next home game is Thursday November 2nd at 7:00 versus Liberty.

Key Takeaways

  • The Ice Dawgs showed resiliency by coming back from two separate deficits.
  • It was a balanced offensive attack. Five Ice Dawgs scored goals, and nine players had an assist.
  • Faceoff wins were crucial, especially late in the third period and overtime, towards creating scoring chances

Three Stars

  1. Aaron Phillips– two goals, including the game-winner
  2. Stephen Bray- one goal, one assist
  3. Zach Flasch and Caleb Santa Maria– one goal, one assist each