Going into Saturday's game against the University of South Florida, the Ice Dawgs knew their first game of 2018 wasn't going to be an easy win for the team.
"We knew they were gonna be a tough team," senior Alex Carey said. "They're ranked No. 3 in the South...we expected a very tough game, a very physical game and it's exactly what we expected."
For much of the first period, both teams remained evenly matched on both offense and defense. USF was the first to score in the game, scoring mere minutes before the end of the first period, which ended with USF up 1-0.
Before the second period began, UGA coach Rick Emmett began to tell the team they could still win despite being down 1-0.
"He definitely was trying to pump us up," Carter Penzien said. "The second period this year had been a critical period to play and we haven't played very well in the second...it was nice [to] come out and tie it back up."
In the second period, not only did the Ice Dawgs get more aggressive on the ice, but they were able to tie the game at 3-3 thanks to goals from Zach Flasch, Christopher Santa Maria and Penzien.
As the third period got underway, the game was again tied up, 4-4, thanks to a second goal from Penzien.
"It's always nice when the puck finds your stick," Penzien said. "The puck was just laying there, and all I had to do was beat the defense and luckily it snuck through."
The game was tied 4-4 in the last 5 minutes of the game until Carey scored in the final minutes to secure the win for the Ice Dawgs.
"I saw the puck coming right for me," Carey said. "When I got the puck, I saw their defender has his feet facing the wrong direction, so I tried to cut for the middle as hard as I could...Their goalie played well the entire game, and I managed to get by him in the end."
Correction: A previous version of this article misstated the opposing university the Georgia Ice Dawgs faced in the game. The Red & Black has corrected the name of the university and regrets this error.