Coming off a 10-4 loss in Athens the previous night, the Clemson Tigers traveled the short trip over to Atlanta to take on yet another strong opponent in the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. The Yellow Jackets would be without some key players in Karl Risley #12, Justus Saldeen #23, Dalton Childs #13, and Ben Lublin #11 and that proved to take a bit of a shot at the team who had practiced with them in the lineup all week.
Opening up the game, we saw the usual from the Jackets as Nick Markwordt #15 was able to get the scoring started off of an assist from transfer student, Michael Leon #8, just two minutes into the game. The score held until just after the halfway point of the period when the Tigers were able to claw back and add a goal of their own to tie things at one goal a piece. Unlike most of Tech’s games this season, we would not see a high scoring battle, but rather a strategic contest of power plays and penalty kills. The first period closed out with 4 minutes of penalties on both sides of the ice.
The trend from the end of the first period certainly continued into the second. Just 47 seconds into the period, Clemson saw one of their players take yet another penalty. And this started the chain reaction. Before Michael Markwordt #3 was able to give GT a 2-1 lead 14 minutes into the 2nd, there had already been 20 more minutes of penalties assessed (12 minutes for Clemson, 8 minutes for Georgia Tech). Finally though, a combination of assists New Yorkers, Michael Brzozowski #17 and Patrick Muller #28, were able to set Michael Markwordt #3 up for that separation goal to send the Jackets to the dressing room with a 2-1 lead. And just to keep the general theme going, 2 more minutes of penalties were given to the Jackets and 4 more to the Tigers.
Coming out for the third with a lead was not something new to Tech. They had seen it before, but something about the amount of penalties going around in the game was throwing off the team and their flow. Clemson was able to add three more goals all within the first 12 minutes of the 3rd period leaving the Yellow Jackets at a 4-2 deficit. With just eight minutes left, the Jackets had to make a push. Getting a goal with just a minute and a half left, Joey Schutz #5 was able to give his team one last glimpse of daylight as Head Coach Cernich called for the extra attacker. Even with Clemson down a man due to a (you guessed it) penalty, the 6-on-4 play proved unsuccessful for the boys as they fell in a close game 4-3 to their ACC foes.
By the end of the game, the refs had handed out 48 total minutes of penalties, not including one 10 minute misconduct. A chippy and physical game, one we usually experience when playing the Clemson Tigers was something new for the very young Yellow Jacket team. That being said, GT Hockey’s next game will be in Clemson, SC as they will get a shot at redemption. If you would like to follow that game, please tune in to our twitter page @GT_Hockey as we will be doing our usual comedic, but still informational, play-by-play of the game.
In addition to next week’s away game, the Jackets will be right back at home the week as they take on a pretty unfamiliar opponent in the Auburn War Eagles. Please join us on Friday, November 10th at 9:00 PM at The Ice in Cumming, Ga for a GT vs. Auburn hockey game.