Following a lethargic opening period, the Georgia club ice hockey team scored six unanswered goals over a 14-minute period en route to a dominant 11-4 win over Liberty on its home ice Thursday, Nov. 2.
Senior Stephen Bray recorded a hat trick, accounting for three of Georgia’s 11 goals. The win improves the Ice Dawgs to 5-1-1 on the season as they’ve outscored their last five opponents 45-20 after starting the season off 0-1-1.
“Obviously any time we can win by a score like 11-4, there a lot of positive things we can take away from that,” head coach Rick Emmett said. “It was one of those games where we were happy to get the win, but, at the same time, we still have a lot we have to work on.”
Trailing by a goal with under two minutes to play in the first period, sophomore Caleb Santa Maria chipped in the equalizing goal from the right side of the net to tie the game at 2-2 at the 1:12 mark.
Georgia struck once again just 15 seconds later when Bray dove to his right and scored from just a few feet out to put the Ice Dawgs on top for the first time of the night.
Liberty’s deficit grew early in the second period when sophomore Caleb Santa Maria assisted junior Christopher Santa Maria on a goal from five feet out, putting Georgia up 4-2 with 19:29 left in the second period.
Another chip-in goal from Bray extended the Ice Dawgs’ lead to four goals, but junior Carter Penzien found the back of the net via a slap shot from 15 feet to virtually put the game away with 8:04 to go.
The Flames cut their deficit by one with seven minutes left in the period, but Caleb Santa Maria’s second goal of the night gave Georgia an 8-3 advantage going into the second intermission.
Senior captain Alex Carey got in on the action in the third period with a goal from the right side of the net. Bray later recorded his third score of the night off a deflection with 12:24 left in the game, giving Georgia an insurmountable 10-3 lead.
When asked what aspect his team could stand to improve moving forward, Emmett surprisingly stated his concern with his team’s offensive attack.
“We need to work on our tape-to-tape passing,” Emmett said. “We also need to work on being a little bit better with transitioning. Overall, we just need to play a little cleaner when we have the puck.”