The Daily Gamecock

Analysis: South Carolina club hockey dominates Florida, moves up in SECHC standings

The Gamecocks beat the Gators in both games with the first, Friday, Nov. 5, 4-2, and the second, Sunday, Nov. 7, 6-2.
The Gamecocks beat the Gators in both games with the first, Friday, Nov. 5, 4-2, and the second, Sunday, Nov. 7, 6-2.

The South Carolina club hockey team (8-1-1, 16 points) came out victorious in its two games over the weekend against the Florida ice hockey club (2-3-0, 4 points). 

With those wins, the team was able to pick up 4 points and climb upwards in the SECHC standings. 

Game One

Behind a late-game comeback, the Gamecocks scored three goals in the third period to rally and defeat Florida 4-2 on Friday night. 

It started with junior forward Owen Thomas, who tied the game at 2, only seconds after the team's recent power play opportunity expired.

Minutes later, with the puck fumbling around in the Florida zone, Thomas had another scoring opportunity and took advantage as he gave South Carolina its first lead of the night with three minutes and forty-six seconds remaining. 

Junior forward Mike Bolger, who scored on a power play in the second period, said he was excited for Thomas.

"OT's sometimes nervous about playing at home — he gets all jacked up about it — but he's my co-president with me, so I love to see him succeed," Bolger said.  

With time winding down, the Gamecocks found the net for a third time in the period, as senior forward Luke Rudman provided an insurance goal. 

The Gamecocks had momentum on their side heading into Sunday: Bolger said it was "huge" to pick up the win against the Gators. 

"It's one of those things where it's an early game Sunday, so if you've got them early, I like to think we can put on the pressure on them," Bolger said. 

Game Two

It was a slow start to the Gamecocks’ game Sunday morning where multiple penalties and power plays flew back and forth between both the Gamecocks and the Gators during the first period.

The first period concluded with a score of 0-0, despite the shifts in power between the teams. 

Once the second period began, the game became more physical after junior center Connor Nicholson scored the first goal in the game within the first minute for the Gators. 

Penalties and power play continued, allowing for freshman center Brody Smojice to make a short-handed goal for the first Gamecock goal of the game. This progressed the game into a tie with a score of 1-1 in the sixth minute. 

“We definitely needed a jump with it being such an early morning game,” Smojice said. “Short-handed goals always get the boys going.”

The Gamecocks kept their energy up. Junior forward Rob Lawrence scored a goal in the tenth minute of the second period, pushing South Carolina into the lead. 

This momentum carried the Cock Hockey team into an even more physical third period. 

Within the first minute of the third period, freshman forward Connor Burman scored for the Gamecocks. Then,  junior forward Owen Thomas scored in the sixth minute of play.

Two more insurance goals were scored, first by freshman forward Marco Pineda in the thirteenth minute of play and another by sophomore forward Dylan Greely in the seventeenth minute. In the final minute of the game, the Gators scored their final goal, making the final score 6-2.

What's next?

South Carolina will head to Coral Springs to face the Florida Atlantic University ice hockey club on Nov. 12 at 8:45 p.m. and Nov. 13 at 4:30 p.m.


Trending Now

Send a Tip Get Our Email Editions