The Vanderbilt Commodores started their season at the Ford Ice Center against an undefeated Florida Gators team. The Dores took home the victory in overtime in a comeback style.
Vanderbilt took the ice and clearly had some rust to shake off. Starting slow, the Dores ended the first period down 1-0, the goal coming late in the period by the hands of Gator center Ryan Geffin. The first period was a very physical one with two coincidental minors, one for roughing and the other for cross-checking. Each set of penalties resulted from a scrum in front of the net. With just 37 seconds left, a 10 minute misconduct was handed to Zane Kats of Florida.
The second period was full of back and forth action. VU struck first with a goal from freshman Blake Beber, one of his two on the day. Just over a minute later, Florida answered when Brandon Nicholson scored on a breakaway to regain the lead. Vandy scored one last time for the period with Ryan Doppelheuer tying the game at 2 all.
Early in the third period Florida had a 5 on 3 chance for 50 seconds. The Dores’ penalty kill stood strong and the Gators came up empty handed on a great chance. Midway through the third, Beber gave Vanderbilt their first lead of the game netting his second goal of the afternoon. With just under a minute left, Florida’s Ryan Geffin scored a heartbreaker, tying the game and sending it to overtime.
Just as quick as overtime started, it ended. It took just under thirty seconds for Vandy’s Thomas Wood to line up at the point and blast one past the Gator goalie Fred Bourret for the win.
Vandy head coach Thomas Bernstein was pleased with the resiliency in his team. “To fight through that adversity at the end and to come right back in overtime speaks a lot to the character in our locker room and hopefully that bodes well for the season.”
Vanderbilt travels to South Carolina to take on the Gamecocks this weekend.
Photo credit: Christina McCullough