On January 21, the University of Georgia Ice Dawgs traveled to Columbus, Georgia to compete against the University of Auburn Tigers in two regular season games.
The Ice Dawgs competed against the Tigers two times earlier this season. The Ice Dawgs met the Tigers in their home rink in Athens, Georgia, defeating them 4-2. The two teams then met again in Cumming, Georgia, which resulted in a tied game, 4-4.
The rivalry between these two schools has been labeled “The south’s oldest rivalry” which always results in their meetings, physical and intense.
Game one: Jan. 21
On the first night, the Ice Dawgs defeated the Auburn Tigers 6-2.
Georgia came out ferociously in the first period, scoring a goal on a power play by freshman forward Declan Conway within the first five minutes. Not long after the offensive high of the Ice Dawgs, the Auburn Tigers answered their goal with one of their own.
However, the Ice Dawgs did not settle for the tied score and scored another goal on yet another power play by senior forward Matthew Bigda.
The Ice Dawgs lead the Tigers 2-1 at the end of the first.
The Ice Dawgs came out in the second period like an unwavering force over the Tigers with a goal being scored by junior forward David Eberly.
In the middle of the period, the Auburn offense slipped past sophomore goalie Ryan Testino with a goal. However, Georgia regained their power with a goal scored by junior forward Josh Mesaros.
The score at the end of the second period is 4-2 with Georgia clearly being the front runner.
The Ice Dawgs did not waste any time at the beginning of the third before scoring their fifth goal of the night, which was the second goal of the game for Mesaros.
The Ice Dawgs buried the Tigers with another goal late in the third on an Ice Dawgs power play by Conway, scoring his second goal of the night.
Game two: Jan. 22
On the second day of play, Georgia beat Auburn 3-1.
The first period proved to be more of an offensive challenge for the Ice Dawgs than in the first game of the weekend, but they remained the leading opponent in this matchup.
Despite the lack of goals on either side, the Ice Dawgs finally broke through with a power play goal from junior defenseman Lleyton Poole.
At the end of the first, the Ice Dawgs led the Tigers 1-0.
Georgia, coming off their win in the first period, were confronted by an Auburn goal, tying the score 1-1 in the middle of the second.
However, they did not waste any time in returning the favor to the Tigers as Poole scored his second goal of the game on an Ice Dawgs power play which brought the score at the end of the period 2-1.
Going into the third, the Ice Dawgs can practically taste victory. The period is as much of a mental battle as it is a physical as the Ice Dawgs only lead by one.
Finally the Ice Dawgs broke away from the one goal lead as Bigda slipped one past the Auburn goalie.
Frantic to score more points to level the playing field, the Tigers took their goalie off the ice to try to overwhelm the Ice Dawgs in the last few minutes. Their valiant effort was no match for the Ice Dawgs, as they shut them down at any scoring attempt.
This weekend the Ice Dawgs proved, yet again, they not only own this rivalry, but the Tigers’ home turf as well.
The Ice Dawgs will play again this weekend in Athens, Georgia, in the Classic Center Foundry Pavilion against the Ole Miss Rebels.