Ice Dawgs Extend Winning Streak
By: Tyler Farmer
After dismantling Florida in Jacksonville last Thursday, the Ice Dawgs returned home last night. This game was a non-conference contest against Liberty University.
Immediately after the opening faceoff, Liberty scored just four seconds into the game. With 15:08 remaining in the first, junior center Christopher Santa Maria got the Ice Dawgs on the board, with an assist from freshman right winger Jack Marrara. Just past the halfway point in the period, Liberty scored to take a 2-1 lead. For the remainder of the period, Georgia seemed to regain control, dominating puck possession in the offensive zone. After a flurry of quality scoring chances and a Liberty roughing penalty, sophomore left winger Caleb Santa Maria notched a power-play goal on assists from senior center Zach Flasch and senior forward Alex Carey. Fifteen seconds later, with 57 seconds before the first intermission, senior left winger Stephen Bray gave the Ice Dawgs a 3-2 lead, thanks in part to assists by sophomore defenseman Aaron Phillips and Christopher Santa Maria.
Now with all the momentum, Caleb Santa Maria lit the lamp, just one minute and 29 seconds into the period, assisted by his brother and Bray. At the 16:01 mark, Bray extended the Georgia lead to 5-2, which was set up beautifully by the Santa Maria brothers. The Ice Dawgs continued to pour it on offensively. Junior left winger Carter Penzien beat the Liberty goalie high to the glove side. The goal was set up by senior forward Alex Carey, who shielded a defender off the puck prior to the pass, and freshman defenseman Kyle Harris. With Georgia now winning 6-2, Liberty changed goalies. The move did not seem to make all that much of a difference, and the Ice Dawgs kept scoring. Flasch scored the 6th unanswered goal, with assists from Penzien and Harris. With 6:53 to go in the period, Liberty momentarily stopped the bleeding and cut their deficit to 4. Several minutes later, Caleb Santa Maria tallied another power-play goal on an assist by Carey. The Ice Dawgs led 8-3 going into the third period.
Twenty minutes away from their fifth straight win, Georgia continued to flex their muscle. At the 17:28 mark, Carey beat the Liberty goalie for yet another Ice Dawgs goal, assisted by Penzien and Flasch. A few minutes later, Bray completed his hat trick. The goal was assisted by sophomore center Austin Krusko and Harris. Krusko’s between-the-legs pass was arguably the highlight of the night. Still playing hard, Liberty scored shorty after to trim the Georgia lead to 10-4. Ten goals, however, just wasn’t quite enough as Flasch added an unassisted one with just over a minute remaining in the game. Final: 11-4 Ice Dawgs on Top!
Come out to Akins Ford Arena on Sunday at 3:00 to see Georgia take on Liberty again!
- The second period continues to be a strength in terms of goal differential. Georgia outscored Liberty 5-1 during the period, and the coaching staff deserves praise for the adjustments made.
- This was the highest scoring outburst of the season, surpassing the 10 goals scored against Clemson
- This was the Ice Dawgs fifth win in a row.
- Stephen Bray– 3 goals, 1 assist
- Caleb Santa Maria– 2 goals, 2 assists
- Zach Flasch: 2 goals, 2 assists