The Daily Gamecock

Analysis: Gamecock club hockey comes out on top against College of Charleston Friday night

<p>South Carolina club hockey players celebrate a goal.&nbsp;</p>
South Carolina club hockey players celebrate a goal. 

The South Carolina club hockey team capitalized on penalties in its 3-2 win over the College of Charleston club hockey team Friday night.

The game stayed close throughout all three periods, with the first two periods ending in ties at 1-1 and 2-2. A goal in the last minute from junior center Julian Reiss was the deciding factor, sealing the win for the Gamecocks. 

Despite an aggressive start offensively for South Carolina, the Cougars were able to sneak one into the net to strike first with 12 minutes left in the first period. 

A penalty on junior defenseman Ryan McGowan put Charleston on a two minute power play, but the Gamecocks were able to make the kill, coming out unscathed to keep the score 1-0.

Senior forward and captain Cam Mecca tied the game on a power play with 4:23 left in the first period. South Carolina rook advantage of penalties all night, scoring two of its three goals on power plays.

The period ended in frustration, with both clubs down two players after multiple penalties were given to the teams, including a two minute penalty to South Carolina and a four minute penalty to Charleston after a fight broke out on the ice.

The game remained tied into the second period, as the Gamecocks couldn't capitalize on a 4-on-3 power play that carried over from the first period.

Frustrations continued to rise as both teams earned another two minute penalty, leading to a goal from Reiss to take the first lead of the night for the Gamecocks with 13:31 left in the second period.

Although the 2-1 lead would not last long, as the Cougars came back to score the tying goal with 9:33 left in the second period, they lost a player in the process to another penalty.

Tempers continued to flare on both sides, leading to a College of Charleston player being ejected at the end of the second period for breaking Gamecock sophomore defenseman Sean Reid's helmet.

"After the first period, after a lot of those penalties, we wanted to make sure we had our emotions in check and not get too ahead of ourselves, and just focusing on the task at hand," Mecca said postgame. "I thought we did a really good job, especially in the second and third."

Strong defense on both sides would keep the game tied throughout most of the third period, but ultimately penalties would come back to hurt the Cougars, as Reiss scored his second goal of the night on a power play to win the game for South Carolina.

"Ultimately, we're a good team," Reiss said postgame.

The South Carolina club hockey team traveled to Charleston to play the College of Charleston Saturday night for game two, where it won again 5-3.

The Gamecock club hockey team plays at home Oct. 29 against the 49ers club hockey team.