Ice Vols Get First Win of The Season
The Ice Vols claimed their first victory of the season while on the road against High Point University Saturday night in a nail biting battle. The team is now setting their eyes to a potential sweep Sunday morning in hopes of rounding out their first weekend of play undefeated.
The offensive action began early for the Ice Vols as freshman Andrew Raymond lit the lamp just two minutes into the first period. Raymond’s goal set the bar high for his teammates, but simple mistakes and neutral zone penalties would soon take the lead from their bench.
“We’re definitely working hard out there,” said Raymond. “The atmosphere on the bench is full of excitement and we’re definitely looking good. We’ve just got to score more goals and get past their goalie and we couldn’t seem to do so after the first ten minutes.”
Giving up a goal with just 18.4 seconds remaining in the first, the Ice Vols entered the second period with a one goal deficit to overcome. Within the first three minutes, forward Andrej Buchko broke away on the penalty kill to go top-shelf and tie the game short-handed. Buchko seemed to set a theme for the period as sophomore Kieran Ogle followed in his footsteps and tied the game 3-3 on another short-handed breakaway.
The first forty minutes of play proved to be a strange back and forth battle resulting in goals off of penalties on both ends of the ice. With his team leaving room for improvement, Head Coach Johnny Scotello set his expectations high leading into the final twenty minutes and had a lot to say about his team’s dynamic up to this point.
“The most important thing we have to do is keep our strategy a little more simple,” said Scotello. “We’re playing too fancy and have to stay out of the box. The refs are calling it very evenly and penalties are really hurting us right now. It’s time to play speedy and simple to get around these guys.”
With a dramatic start to the third period that put the Ice Vols down 4-3 on the penalty kill, the speed Scotello mentioned became a major factor in the turnaround of this game. Within twenty seconds of High Point’s go ahead goal, freshman Nick Carline and captain Drew King scored back to back and pushed a much needed 5-4 lead. Taking control of all offensive momentum, Drew King, Andrej Buchko, and Nick Carline doubled their goals and extended their lead to 8-4, securing their first road victory of the year.
Taking their first success of the year in a thrilling fashion, the Ice Vols have a quick turn around and will complete this road trip against High Point University Sunday morning at 10am. For live updates, tune into the team’s Twitter (@IceVolsHockey) and instagram (@Ice_Vols).