The Georgia Ice Dawgs dropped a pair of 1-goal games in back to back nights falling to Clemson on Thursday night in Athens and Friday night to Florida in Jacksonville.
Thursday night the Bulldogs hosted Clemson at The Classic Center in Athens, and fell behind 2-0 in the first period, including giving up a goal while on the power play with 7:11 remaining in the first period. Georgia’s Stephen Bray deposited a puck into an open Clemson net after he pulled the puck around a charging Kaeser who came out of the Clemson net almost to the top of the circles to play a loose puck. Georgia scored twice in the second period, including a Dixon Babb poser play goal that found the net through a Shawn Rothlis screen in front the the Clemson goal. The Ice Dawgs took the 3-2 lead in the the third period, but Clemson struck early in the third to tie the game, then scored on the power play following a David Finder roughing penalty to take the lead 4-3. The Tigers held off the Georgia offensive attack down the stretch to hold the 4-3 win. Kevin Smith saved 31 of 35 shots for UGA, while Kaeser stopped 33 of 36 Georgia shots.
Friday the Ice Dawgs traveled to Jacksonville, FL to face off against the Florida gators for the annual Georgia-Florida hockey and football battles. Georgia surrendered the early lead again when the Gators scored with 2:09 in the first period on the power play. Florida took a 2-0 lead with a goal at 16:46 in the second. The Gators took a 3-0 lead with a short-handed goal when the Dawgs power-play miss cued on an errant pass and Florida’s Ryan Geffin took advantage of a misplay in the UGA defensive zone and scored the Gators 3rd goal. Georgia shortened the lead to 3-1 on the power play when Eric Mauge fed Lukas Warner in front of the Florida net after a nifty spin move to beat a Florida defender. Georgia’s Stephen Bray brought the Dawgs to within one with 4:28 left in the third period. Georgia had several scoring opportunities to tie the game following a tripping penalty on Florida’s Widell, but Fred Bourret kept multiple point blank shots out of the Gator’s net to hold on for the 3-2 win for the Gators. The win for Florida elevated the Gators to 3rd place in the SEC East division and places Georgia in 4th place. DeRosa saved 31 of 34 Florida shots in his first start of the season for Georgia, while Bourett turned away 36 of 38 shots from Georgia.
Georgia is now 7-6, but is 1-3 in the SEC East division landing the team in 4th place after losing several close games. “We won a few close games, now we have lost a few,” head coach John Hoos commented after the loss to Florida. “What makes it a hard pill to swallow is that we are playing very good hockey against good teams and we have just made some errors and had a few lapses that have cost us, and we have to finish more when we generate scoring opportunities. When you give up goals while you on the power play it hurts – we did that in both games against Clemson and Florida, and we lost both of those games by a goal. In tight games everyone has to be sharp for 60 minutes, every shift, and we need to have all of our players properly prepared to play. We have another opportunity to put it all together this week against Tech.”
Georgia takes on in-state rival Georgia Tech this Wednesday, November 5 at 7:00pm at The Classic Center Arena.