The University of Georgia Ice Dogs hockey team finished in second place in the Savannah Tire Hockey Classic in Savannah, GA. over the weekend after defeating Georgia Tech on Saturday night January 18 in front of a sold out crowd of over 5,600 at the Savannah Civic Center.
The Ice Dogs beat Georgia Tech by a score of 9 to 3. Peter Kacer led the scoring for Georgia with a three goal hat-trick along with two assists. David Bakin scored two goals. Stephen Bray, Michael Falkenstein, Eric Mauge, and Austin Shin all scored one goal each. Sophomore Kevin Smith stopped 31 of 34 Tech shots in the Georgia goal to get the win. Shelby Saponari became the first female player to record a point in the Savannah Classic with an assist in the second period
Georgia came out strong in the opening period and netted the fist goal of the game less than five minutes in when freshman Austin Shin snapped home a Jesse Soave pass. Just four minutes later Tech tied the score on a goal that snuck thru Georgia goalie Kevin Smith’s leg pads. But the Ice Dogs would strike twice more before the end of the first period as Tech took several penalties and Georgia capitalized on two power play goals, one from freshman Eric Mauge, the other from sophomore David Bakin.
“We spend alot of practice time on power play,” head coach John Hoos commented. “We tweaked a few things and our lineup tonight, and they (players) had great puck movement and execution. It was good to see a few of our young guys put the puck in the net.”
Georgia scored first in the second period as well when Bakin wristed home a pass from Bray to score while short-handed. Falkenstein and Kacer followed with goals in the ensuing six minutes, and Bray scored on the power play to put UGA up 7-1 going into the third period.
“We felt very good going into the third, but we knew we had to keep our focus and finish the drill,” Bray commented about the 7-1 lead.
Ice Dogs captain Peter Kacer made sure there would be no comeback scoring just one minute into the third period to put Georgia up 8-1. Tech managed goals from Wright and McCreary mid way thru the period, but the Dawgs managed to kill off two Tech power plays on soft penalty calls, then Kacer put the nail in the coffin on a goal from Bary and Shin with five minutes remaining to put the final at 9-3. Kacer, playing in his final Savannah tournament was happy to get the win against the in-state rival.
“We have beaten Florida the previous three years, but it is a great feeling to beat Georgia Tech here in Savannah with this crowd,” Kacer noted. “The way the team came together tonight after getting killed last night is great.”
Pictured above: Shelby Saponari and Nick Carlotto help defend in front of Georgia goalie Kevin Smith.
GEORGIA 9, GEORGIA TECH 3
Georgia 3—4—2 : 9
Georgia Tech 1—0—2: 3
Goals —Georgia, Austin Shin (Jesse Soave, Michael Falkenstein), 4:42; Georgia Tech, Mitchell Carr (Nick Galli, Cole Wright), 6:21; Georgia, Eric Mauge (David Bakin, Stephen Bray), 17:05; Georgia, Bakin (Peter Kacer, Kyle Kidwell).
Goals — Georgia, Bakin (Alex Wutschel, Bray), 3:43; Georgia, Falkenstein (Shin, Saponari), 5:37; Georgia, Kacer, (Carlotto), 8:46; Georgia, Bray (Kacer, Kyle Kidwell), 17:35.
Goals — Georgia, Kacer (Shin, Bray) 0:54; Georgia Tech, Wright (Jack Kisor, Erik Moore), 4:34; Georgia Tech, Kenny McCrary (Brandon Gaudet), 6:07; Georgia, Kacer (Bray, Maugie), 16:32.
The Ice Dogs compete in the Savannah Tire Hockey Classic each January along with the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Florida Gators, Florida State Seminoles, The Citadel, and South Carolina Gamecocks. This tournament dubbed “The rumble in the rink,” has been a tradition for UGA Hockey since 1999. Georgia has won the tournament six times and been runner-ups seven times in the tournament sixteen year history. The teams compete for the Thrasher Cup donated by the Atlanta Thrasher NHL hockey franchise.. This year’s winner was the Florida Gators after they defeated FSU on Saturday. The Ice Dogs came in second with a record of one and one because of a loss to Florida on Friday night. Although Georgia Tech also had a one and one record, Georgia took second place by virtue of their win over the Yellowjackets. The FSU Seminoles came in fourth.