At least the Gamecocks ended their losing streak. They’ve yet to start a winning one, however.
USC traveled to Mississippi and lost to the Rebels 3-1 in the first of a two-game series. It was the Gamecocks fifth straight loss. A 4-4 tie in the second game against Ole Miss ended that trend, but Carolina would like to return to its winning ways.
That won’t be easy for the Gamecocks, now 3-7-1. USC travels to Georgia Friday night, and plays the Bulldogs at home Sunday.
“We’re playing better, but we still need to get those wins,” USC coach Mike Lee said.
The first game between Ole Miss and Carolina was scoreless in the first period and most of the second. The Rebels scored first with 46 seconds left in the second period, when Nick Bitetto found the net on a power play. Gamecock freshman Jim Hatton tied it early in the third, assisted by Mike Kochenash and Eric Patterson. But two Dan Warnecke-from-Bitetto goals secured the Rebels 3-1 win.
In the second game, the Gamecocks and Rebels alternated goals the entire game – the Rebels never led, but USC never held more than a one-goal edge.
Derek Maggs scored the first of his two goals early in the first period, assisted by Mike O’Donnell and Hatton. That 1-0 lead lasted until midway through the second period when Warnecke scored the first goal of a hat trick, assisted by Bitetto and Matt Obstarczyk.
Mike Kochenash, assisted by Patterson, gave the Gamecocks their second lead of the game, only to have Jimmy Rainey score on an assist by Danny Bates to tie the game again three minutes later. Assisted by O’Donnell, Maggs scored his second goal with 2:56 left in the second, but less than a minute later Warnecke tied it again for Ole Miss.
Hatton scored assisted by Taylor Wolf to give USC it’s fourth lead of the game in the third period, but Warnecke scored again – his fifth goal of the weekend – to tie the game on a power play. There was no goals in overtime, and the game ended tied at four.
USC goalie John Musciano had 28 saves in the first game, and 27 in the second. Mississippi goalie Justin Ragland had 42 saves in the first game, and 21 saves in the second game before leaving with an injury early in the third period. Josh Hukill came in for the Rebels and gave up one goal on 17 shots – including six shots in overtime.