The Ice Dawgs start the season strong with victory over the Tigers, 3-1

By Alexis Johnson

The Georgia Ice Dawgs started their 23-24 season with a win against the Clemson Tigers on the road Friday night in Greenville, South Carolina.

It was an electric start to the first period for Georgia – complete with great puck possession and speed.

“I really liked the way we played tonight,” said club president and team captain Robby Witwer. “It was great to get the first game under our belt, but with that being said, we aren’t satisfied. This team hasn’t shown its best yet.”

The Ice Dawgs struck first blood with a monumental goal from freshman James Hedquist with an assist from sophomore Declan Conway. The first goal for the Ice Dawgs against the Tigers was also Hedquist’s first collegiate goal. 

“We added some really good hockey players to our roster,” said head coach John Camp. “It was great to see James Hedquist score the first goal tonight. I fully expect each of our new team members to contribute to the team over the course of the season.”

The Dawgs ended the first with a 1-0 lead.

The second period kicked off with a massive power play opportunity, which proved lucrative for the Ice Dawgs as assistant captain Josh Mesaros tapped in his first goal of the game. The senior extended his 3-game goal streak against the Clemson Tigers.

However, Mesaros did not stop there. He went on to score his second goal of the night shortly after, which allowed the Ice Dawgs to finish the second period up 3-0.

“I’ve got to give all of the credit to my linemates,” Mesaros said. “Without them, the opportunity would not have been there.”

As Georgia looked for the shut out, Clemson capitalized on a power play late in the third period, allowing John McKeon to earn the Tigers’ a spot on the scoreboard. 

While Clemson tried to even the score, it was too little too late. 

Georgia concluded their first game of the season with a 3-1 victory and undeniable momentum. 

Mesaros said that for the first game, the team played well. There were going to be mistakes with it being the first game, but overall he thought the team looked good for it being the first game as a new team. 

The Ice Dawgs play on home ice next week, facing off against the South Carolina Gamecocks.

Looking to the next game, Witwer said that he is confident in the team’s ability. 

“I have faith in our personnel and preparation,” he said. “South Carolina is always a battle. Our room is eager to prove to ourselves and the rest of the conference that we can compete with anyone.” 



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