By: Jackie Kinney
After a weekend in Florida, the Ice Dawgs returned home to face Georgia Tech at the Classic Center on Wednesday night. The last meeting between the two teams involved a full house for the Ice Dawgs’ victorious return to Athens, but this year, with the seats still packed, Georgia Tech had a different outcome in mind.
A repeat of the previous showdown seemed hopeful for Georgia in the first few minutes, as freshman Riley Carolson sparked an early lead, but Tech answered, with Joey Schutz quickly tying up the game. Tech, taking advantage of three Georgia penalties, would score three unanswered goals during power plays by Cole Wright and Mitchell Carr.
Before the end of the first period, Georgia’s Alex Carey, assisted by David Bakin, was able to cut the deficit, but Tech stayed in control with Wright’s third goal of the night.
After time in the locker room, the Ice Dawgs came back in the 2nd period with two goals by Zach Flasch and Michael Falkenstein, bringing the score to a close 5-4. As the clock ran down, Georgia was unable to maximize on power plays while Tech seemed unfazed by the loss of Wright in the penalty box. Shorthanded, Tech scored twice, two goals closer to redemption.
Despite late scores in the 2nd and 3rd periods by Georgia’s Stephen Bray and Falkenstein, Tech kept their opponents in check with a final score of 8-6.
The Ice Dawgs’ next chance on the ice came on Sunday, in the form of a Military Appreciation Game. Facing an ironclad team made up of the armed forces, the team took the day to honor their opponents, with a final score of 12-8, Georgia.
The U.S. Armed Forces won in other ways, however, with multiple events that benefited Hockey Saves, a non-profit organization that promotes hockey as an outlet and a connection for soldiers across the country. Starting with pick up games in New York, Hockey Saves has allowed a variety of hockey opportunities, including organized games, tickets, and care packages.
Before the game on Saturday, Balmore Outdoors, in Monroe, Ga., hosted the Ice Dawgs, with all purchases going towards Hockey Saves. During the game on Sunday, Georgia also sold a customized t-shirt and held a silent auction for one of the specialized, army hockey jerseys. On a mission to gain support and raise money, the Ice Dawgs spent the weekend sharing the ice with military heroes, honoring their service and duty to the country.
Their next mission will be on Friday, Nov. 14th, against Alabama at the Classic Center.