At the Classic Center on Sept. 17, 2021, the UGA Ice Dawgs take on Tampa. The match ended 1-3 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo/Sidney Chansamone)

In Georgia hockey’s home opener against Tampa, the Bulldogs lost 3-1. Senior forward Jackson Katz scored the lone goal for Georgia in the second period.

In what was a strong defensive showing from both sides most of the game, Georgia was not able to convert on its good looks in front of the net.

“At the end of the day, if you want to win a hockey game you have to score more than one goal,” said Junior wing Matthew Bigda.

The game opened with controlled possession from Tampa for the first ten minutes of the game and Cameron Campbell was thrown into the penalty box. At the 11th minute mark, Sam Adler took a promising shot, but it was saved by the goalkeeper.

Both teams held their own in the defensive battle until Tampa scored around with five minutes left in the first period.

Georgia started the second period with high pressure during the first four minutes. Georgia was then penalized, which resulted in a power play in favor of Tampa. However, Katz scored, tying it up at the 10-minute mark. Shortly after Georgia tied it up, Tampa scored another to regain the lead in the final minutes of the second period.

During the third period, Georgia kept pressure on Tampa, getting in a couple of shots from close range. In the final minutes of the game, Georgia sent forward Junior goalie Nick Newbold to the bench to add another attacker in a last-ditch effort to tie the game. Tampa took advantage of the open net and scored off a full rink shot, entrenching Tampa in the driver’s seat, 3-1.

“We can take a few minutes to think about how we can be better, but then we have got to start preparing for the next game. That’s the beauty of sports, there’s always a next game to prepare for,” Bigda said.

The Bulldogs face a quick turnaround as they host South Florida on Friday evening.