By UGA Staff Writers
The long standing rivalry between the University of Tennessee and the University of Georgia was taken to the ice this past Saturday night as the Tennessee Volunteers visited the Georgia Bulldogs at UGA’s home rink at The Classic Center in Athens, GA for the first time. There was much anticipation leading up to the event as the two teams sought to be the winner of the match up in the hopes of increasing their SECHC ranking.
After a much heated battle, the ICE Dogs pulled out a 7 to 5 victory over the ICE Vols.
Within the first minute of the first period, Georgia’s sophomore Alex Carey scored the opening goal, a calm wrist shot two feet away from Tennessee’s goalie.
After an aggressive battle with Vols Scott Carter (who was without a stick for almost a full minute), Bulldogs junior Eric Mauge scored with fourteen minutes and thirty-three seconds left in the first period.
The first goal attempt by the Vols was blocked by UGA’s goalie’s elbow. After a continuous fight to get the puck inside UGA’s goal, the Vols finally succeeded with getting their first point on the board with eleven minutes left in the first.
A fight broke out between UGA senior David Finder and Vols Chris Weilandt after Finder was tackled by the opposing player. This resulted in vengeance from Weilandt as he scored the second goal for the Vols with five minutes and thirty-three seconds left.
Bulldog junior Michael Falkenstein returned the favor as he shot and scored UGA’s third goal by hitting the puck off of the top of the goal. He was assisted by Georgia freshman Zach Flasch.
With one minute and nineteen seconds left in the first period, UGA freshman Cam Gilmore limped off the ice while lifting his left ankle in the air.
Six minutes in to the second period, Georgia junior David Bakin pushed the puck between the Vols goalie’s legs to earn the fourth point for Georgia. He was assisted by his fellow teammate, Stephen Bray.
The most notable check of the game took place as the only girl on both teams, UGA’s Shelby Saponari, laid a huge hit on Vols Austin Scheidt that sent him to the ground. This was met by roars from the crowd along with “by a girl” chants as well as “Bad to the Bone” being played over the Classic Center’s speakers as Saponari made her way to the penalty box.
After an extended rally, UGA’s Mauge scored his second goal with four minutes and fifty seconds left.
After fighting for possession of the puck, UGA’s freshman Shawn Rothlis’s check on Scheidt resulted in the Volunteer falling into the Tennessee bench. This led to a brawl between the players after retaliation by the Vols that resulted in a player from both teams being sent to the box.
Ice Vols Alec Tucker took his fighting to UGA’s goal as he maneuvered around Georgia’s defense and smoothly sank the puck into the back of the net.
With ten minutes and forty seconds left on the clock, Georgia’s Flasch scored the sixth goal for the Bulldogs after recovering from a rough check that sent him to the ground.
The Ice Vols scored consecutive goals that cut the Ice Dawgs lead to one. This was countered with thunderous roars from UGA’s fans as they cheered their home team on.
Bakin raced past all of the ICE Vols and scored their seventh goal on an empty net with two seconds left on the clock. Georgia fans charged the rink and beat on the glass as the ICE Dogs returned the favor by jumping on the glass and lifting their sticks in the air as a salute to the fans.
The third star of the game was Eric Mauge. The second star was Alex Carey. David Bakin was named the first star of the game.
When asked about his thoughts on the game, Bakin responded, “We played a great game! We had a little slip up in the third period, but we pulled through. Our guys played great defensive hockey—that’s why we won. We just did what our coach said, ‘Tie up in front of the net and keep a third man high.’ It was an awesome feeling to get our first SEC win! We will enjoy this win against Tennessee tonight, but tomorrow we will start getting ready for LSU on Friday.”
The ICE Dogs will take on LSU at 7:30PM in the Classic Center.