By Lezlie Patterson
It’s definitely a trend South Carolina wants to stop.
After defeating Clemson 5-4 in overtime Thursday night in Greenville, S.C., the Gamecocks lost the second game to the Tigers 5-4 at The Plex Indoor Sports and Ice, USC’s home rink.
It’s the third two-game series for USC this year, and the third time Carolina has lost the second game.
On Thursday night, Adam Hepp scored the winning goal off a rebound shot by Mike Foster to give USC the win. It was the eighth time in a row USC had defeated Clemson.
USC defensive man Matt Ohrenich scored the first goal assisted by Sterling Brown. Clemson answered with a goal by Bryan Golnek, assisted by Austin McCall. USC responded quickly when Geordie Lukas scored unassisted, and USC led 2-1 at the end of the first period.
Clemson tied it with 8:38 left in the second period with a goal by Patrick Young, assisted by McCall again. But USC scored in the final minute of the period with a goal by Mike Borst, assisted by Julian DiPaolo to take a 3-2 lead into the second intermission.
In the third period, Clemson scored quickly with a Ryan Wakeford to Andrew Racicot goal to tie, then took its first lead with Connor Megan scored assisted by Matt Morris with 4:03 remaining.
Mike Kochenash scored, assisted by Ohrenich, with 1:54 remaining to send the game into overtime. Hepp’s goal came 1:39 into overtime.
USC goalie Danny Collins had 36 saves in his first start for the Gamecocks. Clemson goalie Trevor Tirani had 26 saves.
On Friday, the Gamecocks ended its win streak against Clemson, but continued its win-a-game-lose-a-game streak.
Clemson jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period. Despite outscoring the Tigers in the next two periods, and holding them to four shots in the third and seven in the second, USC could never fully recover. Jared Tallo scored first for the Tigers, assisted by Andrew Racicot. Austin McCall scored the second goal unassisted, and Xiao-Wei Saliny scored the third goal assisted by Brad Nurnberg.
The Gamecocks got on the board early in the second period, when Mike Kochenash scored assisted by Eric Patterson and Matt Ohrenich. Clemson answered with a goal by Ryan Wakeford (Nurnberg assist) before Carolina scored twice to pull within a goal. Julian DiPaolo scored assisted by Taylor Wolf and Jim Hatton, and Hatton scored assisted by Kochenash.
It took just more than a minute for Clemson to respond, with Brett Glover scored assisted by McCall and Golnek.
The Gamecocks came close to forcing another overtime, when Foster scored assisted by Alec Gerred with 1:58 left. With the Gamecock goalie pulled, the final 1:58 was played in front of the Clemson net.
Clemson goalie Tirani stopped 26 shots. USC goalie John Musciano had 17 saves. Clemson improved to 3-0-1, while USC fell to 3-3.
This weekend the Gamecocks travel to Fort Myers and Kissimmee, FL to take on Florida Gulf Coast and Tampa, respectfully.