Photo: Lisa Falta / The Daily Gamecock

Ice 'Cocks down Clemson 5-1

USC power play nets pair as Tigers held to 11 shots

South Carolina achieved its second consecutive victory over Clemson and improved to 1-1-0-0 with a 5-1 triumph Friday in Irmo.

Scoring was bountiful and quick, as just 2:24 into the game, Carolina’s Mike Borst took a pass from Sean Davis and rifled a wrist shot past Clemson goaltender Liam McHugh to get the Gamecocks on the board first. It was Borst’s first goal of the season and Davis’ second assist in as many games.

With four minutes left in the period, Clemson stormed the Carolina defensive zone on a two-on-one rush that was broken up when the Gamecocks’ Greyson Curry laid out to intercept the centering pass. Carolina’s power play made its second appearance of the period just moments later on a slashing minor from Tigers forward Jacob Rioux, but the Clemson penalty kill prevailed once again.

Tigers forward Andrew Racicot nearly tied the game just two minutes into the second when he fell behind the Gamecock defense for a breakaway, but Bobby Lombardi managed to kick aside the Clemson leading scorer’s close wrist shot.

Carolina nearly took a two-goal lead 4:46 in while Clemson’s Andrew Butterfield served two minutes for hooking, but officials determined the Tiger net had been dislodged before the puck crossed the line. The Gamecocks formed a three-on-one rush into the Clemson zone just 25 seconds after Butterfield left the box, but McHugh managed to stifle the attack.

Matthew Power took a five-minute major and game misconduct after a forceful check from behind on Carolina defenseman Duncan Hickman. Hickman was shaken up on the play but returned the game soon after. Just under three minutes into the ensuing power play, Ian Schneider tallied his first goal of the game with 9:37 left to give the Gamecocks a 2-0 lead.

USC’s rookie line of Ben Smith, Jack Watson and Ian Schneider came up big again just minutes later when Smith one-timed a cross-ice pass past McHugh to make it 3-0. Minutes later a skirmish involving several players on both sides broke out at the top of the Clemson zone and ultimately sent two Clemson players and Carolina’s Blake Drummond to the penalty box with four minutes for roughing and 10-minute misconducts. Gamecock Brian Sohr left for the locker room with a game misconduct and five-minute major.

Finally, with just 49.5 seconds left in the period, Carolina’s Jim Hatton managed to sneak a wrist shot through McHugh’s pads to give the Gamecocks a commanding 4-0 lead going into the second intermission.

With 3:04 gone in the third, Bobby Van Dusen found the net for the first time this season just 17 seconds into a Gamecocks power play to stretch the lead to five. Jacob Vander Leest ended Bobby Lombardi’s shutout bid with 4:26 remaining to close the scoring in a comparatively tame third period. The Gamecocks outshot the Tigers by a final margin of 29-11.

Carolina hits the road this weekend to take on UNC Wilmington in a doubleheader Friday and Saturday.



Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Gamecock.