If MTSU’s new year’s resolution was to put more pucks in the back of the net, they’re certainly on the right track. The Blue Raiders have notched 17 goals in the first three games of the new semester.
MTSU opened the semester against Vanderbilt’s B Team and the game quickly became a back-and-forth match. MTSU responded to two early Commodores goals with two unanswered goals and tied the game. Vandy took the lead on a shot from the point, but the Blue Raiders answered back in less than a minute to tie the game at three.
With less than two minutes left in the game, MTSU would get some glimmer of hope when Dakota Janiro recorded the hat-trick goal to bring his team within one. Vanderbilt scored two goals, 40 seconds apart, to seal the victory over the Blue Raiders 7-4.
Just four days later, MTSU played the Commodores again, but this game had a different result. Solid goaltending by Jaylen Mitchell and getting offensive contribution from committee scoring big goals at opportune times, gave MTSU a three-goal lead entering the third period.
It’s been said, “the most dangerous lead in hockey is a three-goal lead.” This proved to be the case, as the Commodores would cut the lead to one. With just 2:30 left in the game, Vanderbilt would draw a penalty and go on the power play. The Blue Raiders would hold the lead after big saves from Jaylen Mitchell and the penalty kill unit taking away shooting lanes from Vanderbilt. Joe Dobrin was able to hit the empty net to put the game in the refrigerator 6-4.
After their huge victory against Vanderbilt, MTSU would turn their focus toward the Treveeca Trojans. The Blue Raiders have had his season has had great success against the Trojans going 2-0 in their head-to-head matchups with a combined score of 17-3.
Trevecca took the lead on the game’s first shot as Tyler Rayburn notched his first career goal. That proved to be the wake-up call for the Blue Raiders as they scored five unanswered goals. Trevecca gave a push to the Raiders scoring two unanswered goals and bring the game to within two. MTSU went on to put the dagger in the Trojans scoring two late goals to make it a 7-3 final.
The Blue Raiders take on the Sewanee Tigers Sunday at 5:00 pm. MTSU will then play Vanderbilt on Thursday, January 22 at 8:45 pm. This will be their third matchup this season against Vanderbilt.