By Lili Watford
The University of Georgia Ice Dawgs traveled to the Columbus Civic Center on September 29, 2023, to play in the Deep South’s oldest rivalry, Auburn vs. Georgia.
Game one against Auburn, September 29:
To start the game, Auburn took an early lead – scoring a quick goal 2:30 in to go up 0-1 in the first period.
Georgia answered within 30 seconds of Auburn scoring. Senior forward David Eberly tied the game for Georgia.
Before the first period ended, Auburn took the lead 2-1.
In the second period, junior defenseman Jack Gannon tied the game, while this goal allowed Georgia to tie the game, it was also Gannon’s first goal this season.
Going into the third, Georgia and Auburn were tied 2-2.
Auburn scored back-to-back goals in the third period, making the score 4-2.
Eberly, with his second goal of the night, cut the lead down to one with a pass from junior forward Sam Adler, 3-4.
Regrettably, despite their relentless efforts, the Ice Dawgs were unable to score another goal before the buzzer, bringing the final score of the first game to 3-4.
Game two against Auburn, October 1:
In the first period, Auburn took the early lead.
The Ice Dawgs went into the second period down 1-0. However, they were able to tie the game with a goal from junior defenseman Lleyton Poole with an assist from Gannon.
Like Gannon’s goal in Friday’s game, this was not only the tying goal, but was also Poole’s first goal of the season.
“We knew that if we could tie the game up in the second, then other opportunities and goals would present themselves with the momentum gained,” Poole said.
With minutes to go in the second period, Auburn scored another goal, taking the lead going into the third, 1-2.
About halfway through the third period, Adler shot the puck past Auburn’s goalie with an assist from Gannon, tying the game at 2-2.
Adler said that the key to winning the game was the team’s determination and desire. He emphasized that strong teams manage to achieve positive outcomes, even in the face of adversity.
However, with less than 3 minutes left in the suspenseful game, senior forward and assistant captain, Josh Mesaros, scored the first go-ahead goal of the weekend, bringing the score to 3-2.
“It felt really good to score and get the lead with such little time left,” Mesaros said. “We were working hard all game as a team, and to finally gain the lead was a great feeling.”
To seal the victory against Auburn, sophomore forward Evan Parente scored an empty netter goal, making the final score 4-3 for Georgia.
The Ice Dawgs went 1-1 in this series against Auburn. With their record for the season now being 4-1, Georgia is in 3rd place in their division going into this week.
On October 13, the Ice Dawgs will travel to Nashville, Tennessee to compete against Vanderbilt.