Last week, the Jackets welcomed the Clemson Tigers to town, playing them in a back in forth battle that ultimately ended in a 4-3 loss. With some of the regular starters out that week, many of the reserve players stepped up and played a huge role in keeping that game close. However, during the week, the team had to prep for their first road game of the season. Traveling over to Clemson to take on the same team they had just lost to one week prior was a daunting task for the Yellow Jackets.
Coming out of what shouldn’t be called a locker room (but more of a storage closet), GT took the ice with a purpose. Skating hard for the first part of the period led to a fortunate opportunity as Justus Saldeen #23 was fed the puck from linemate, Karl Risley #12, and then found the back of the net. The play continued on scoreless for the rest of the period, many thanks to veteran net minder, Zach Cernich #31, who was able to turn aside all 16 shots that the Tigers were able to put up in the first frame.
Entering the second period with a one goal lead, the Yellow Jackets were leaning heavily on their defensive core to hold down the fort. One of the biggest hurdles GT faces often when playing Clemson is the physicality of the game. Similar to last week’s 48 total penalty minutes, tonight’s game featured 34 total penalty minutes between the two sides. That came back to bite Tech as the Tigers were able to find a way past Cernich on the power play at the midway point of the contest. This score held as the Jackets headed back to their closet…I mean lockerroom all knotted at one goal a piece.
The third period, unlike the other two previous periods, started off quickly as Michael Brzozowski #17 was able to get his team leading ninth goal in just nine games this year. From that point on, things began to pick up as the game got a bit dirty and out of hand. And to make things worse, Georgia Tech was in this exact same position last season in Clemson: a one goal lead in the third period. Last year’s game ended with a last second regulation goal from the Tigers, followed by an overtime tally sending the Jackets back to ATL defeated. This year, however, the boys, backed by defensive prowess and solid goaltending were able to hold onto their slim lead and finish things off at a score of 2-1.
With the win, GT Hockey moves to 6-2-1 on the season and has yet to lose twice to one opponent as both loses are paired with wins against the Florida State Seminoles and the Clemson Tigers. After a pretty rough game, the boys are thankful for a bye week for plenty of rest before they hit the homestretch of the fall semester.
Please join us on Friday, November 10th at 9:00 PM as the Jackets square off against SEC opponent, the Auburn Tigers, at The Ice in Cumming, Ga.