The Georgia club hockey team beat Coastal Carolina 5-4 Sunday afternoon at the Akins Ford Arena at The Classic Center. The win is the third straight for the Ice Dawgs.
Georgia endured nine penalties throughout the match compared to Coastal Carolina’s three but managed to maintain the lead because of late saves by Brady Mulligan.
“I’m really comfortable when we’re down a man,” Mulligan said. “I know [in those moments] that there’s more pressure on me, and it’s up to me to keep the puck out of the net.”
The first period began with Georgia controlling the puck early and often. Senior Caleb Santa Maria scored the first goal of the game from a Chris Keresztes pass with 10:29 left in the first period. Three minutes later, the duo connected once again, giving Santa Maria his second goal and Keresztes another assist. Coastal Carolina battled back with two goals in the final three minutes to end the first period tied up at 2-2.
The second period started with Georgia on a 5-on-4 power play. With only a few seconds left in the power play, Keresztes found the back of the net to give the Ice Dawgs the lead. The Chanticleer’s Brenden Engtow answered the goal eight minutes into the period, which was one of three goals scored for Engtow in the game.
Senior Kyle Harris scored with just under 10 minutes left in the period, giving the Ice Dawgs the 4-3 lead. The Chanticleer’s continued their late-period scoring with a goal in the final two minutes, tying it up at four heading into the third period.
Georgia was able to score the only goal of the third period with just under six minutes to play by Keresztes, his second of the match. The final minutes forced Georgia to overcome a late push from Coastal Carolina, as the Ice Dawgs found themselves in a 3-on-5 power play late in the match.
Mulligan grabbed a couple of late saves at the end and was rewarded by an ambush of celebrating teammates once the final buzzer sounded to seal the victory.
“That’s what you need your goalie to do,” Georgia head coach Rick Emmett said. “That’s the job of the position. You’re isolated back there, and I think Brady made the saves he needed to make for us tonight.”
Next for Georgia is a match against Clemson on Thursday, Oct. 17, at 7 p.m. in the Akins Ford Arena at The Classic Center.