The following article was provided by Lezlie Patterson from the South Carolina Gamecocks Hockey program.
The Gamecocks started a new season with new coaches and new uniforms. But a veteran goalie assisted by 17 experienced skaters led the University of South Carolina to a first-game 6-3 win against Christopher Newport Friday night.
USC’s undefeated season was short-lived, however, with a 7-4 loss against the Captains on Sunday.
“Christopher Newport is an excellent team,” USC Coach Mike Lee said. “They have an aggressive team with some very good players.”
In the Carolina win, junior Eric Patterson scored a hat trick, and line mates Brett Topolski and Mike Kochenash combined for another goal to lead the Gamecocks. Sophomore goalie John Musciano had 17 saves, as the USC defense held CNU to 20 shots on goal. USC had 40 shots on goal.
Christopher Newport scored the first goal about midway through the first period when Donny Langlais pushed one in from the front of the net. Patterson answered with a short-handed breakaway to tie the game at the end of the first period.
The second period belonged to the Gamecocks, who scored three unanswered goals. Topolski scored on an assist from Kochenash at the 8:55 mark, then senior Derek Maggs scored with assists by Mike Borst and Sterling Brown 38 seconds later. Patterson scored with an assist by Topolski to give USC a 4-1 lead heading in to the third period.
CNU wasted no time getting back into the game, with a Brandon Mills to Alex Howell goal 10 seconds into the period. First-year Gamecocks Alec Gerred and Jim Hatton combined on a goal to make it 5-2 Carolina before David Walsh scored to pull CNU within 5-3.
But that was as close as the Captains got, and Patterson secured the win with a goal from Julian DiPaolo to give USC its first win.
“It was a good first game for us,” Lee said. “There was a lot to like, but we saw a lot we need to work on as well.”
On Sunday, the Gamecocks fell behind 2-0 when Kyle Jahn and Kevin Diner teamed up for two goals, including the only goal scored in the first period. The duo combined for four goals, and Jahn added an unassisted goal to lead the Captains.
Carolina had 33 shots on goal. Taylor Wolf led the Gamecocks with two goals and an assist. Adam Hepp scored on an assist from Kevin Cotrone, and Hatton added USC’s other goal. Hatton and Geordie Lukas also had assists. Musciano had 17 saves.
Penalties plagued the Gamecocks in both games. USC had 14 penalties in the first game, and 10 in the second game. Two of Jahn and Diner’s goals were on power plays.
“We definitely need to cut down on penalties,” Lee said.
Carolina travels to Nashville to play Vanderbilt at 7:45 p.m. Friday and 10:30 a.m. Sunday.