The Ice Dawgs played their first two home games of the season this weekend and came out with two wins. The team entered the weekend 2-0 after wins over in-state rivals Georgia Tech and Kennesaw State. Thursday night the Ice Dawgs defeated Clemson 8-5, and Friday night the Ice Dawgs won 7-1 over the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Thursday night the Ice Dawgs got off to a slow start falling behind 3-0 in the first period. The Ice Dawgs did not score until the end of the first when junior Caleb Santa Maria found the net for the first time to cut the lead to 3-1. Caleb Santa Maria scored two more goals in the second period to earn a hat trick and make the score 5-3 in Clemson’s favor.
The Ice Dawgs caught fire in the third period and scored five unanswered goals. Junior Austin Krusko scored early in the third period, followed by a goal from Christopher Santa Maria before Krusko scored his second goal of the game to make it 6-5 Georgia. Jackson Katz scored an empty net goal in the final minute of the game, and Caleb Santa Maria capped off the scoring and secured Georgia’s win with his fourth goal of the game with just 17 seconds remaining.
“It was all a team effort out on the ice,” Caleb Santa Maria said. “Just being in the right place at the right time to put some pucks in the back of the net to help secure two victories this weekend. [I] couldn’t have done it without the team behind me.”
Friday night the Ice Dawgs welcomed UAB to the Classic City for a Pink in the Rink game supporting Bulldogs Battling Breast Cancer. Off the ice, there was nearly $5,000 raised to support breast cancer awareness. The Ice Dawgs are still raising money for the cause by auctioning off their game worn jerseys.
On the ice, the guys in pink jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period and never looked back. Eric Mauge scored back-to-back goals to start the game, and Caleb Santa Maria added the third goal of the period.
Christopher Santa Maria scored his second goal of the weekend in the second period before Eric Mauge netted his third of the game to earn a hat trick. The Ice Dawgs closed out the period with a goal from David Spielberger to make the score 6-1. The third period was slow for both teams with Caleb Santa Maria being the only player to score a goal.
The Ice Dawgs head to Nashville, Tennessee this weekend for a game against Vanderbilt on Friday night followed by a game against Middle Tennessee State on Saturday night.