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Georgia women’s hockey drops a pair of games to South Carolina on Senior Night

RJ Craig

(Photo/Avni Trivedi)

The Georgia women’s hockey team played two games against South Carolina on Friday, which were not part of the original schedule. The team would have instead played games this weekend against not only South Carolina but also Auburn and the newly formed Alabama women’s hockey team in the first-ever Athens Invitational Tournament but had to cancel it due to inclement weather. 

Game 1

Georgia played its first game against South Carolina on Friday morning at the Atlanta IceForum, where it previously beat Auburn 10-3 on November 3rd. The Bulldogs lost by a final score of 11-3 despite a three-goal effort by freshman Paige Oukes. 

South Carolina set the tone for the game early in the first period, with sophomore defenseman Hadley Green opening the scoring. At the 16:39 mark, Green put one past Georgia goalie Ashlyn Carroll and did it again a minute and a half later to give the Gamecocks an early 2-0 advantage. Georgia responded with a goal from the red-hot Paige Oukes, assisted by Dana Stott and Sunny Yang. South Carolina scored three more goals--courtesy of Averie Bowen, Morgan Giard, and Hadley Green--to go up 5-1 at the end of the first. 

The second period featured back-and-forth scoring between the two teams, with Georgia scoring first. About halfway into the period, Oukes netted her second goal of the game to make it 5-2 South Carolina but an unassisted Alyssa Nardslico a couple of minutes later made it a four-goal Gamecock advantage again. Oukes scored yet again on the assist from Bailey Lesko to cut the lead back down to three and keep Georgia in the game. However, South Carolina tallied two more goals (Charlie Kuchman and Zoe Elwell) by the end of the second to nullify Oukes’ offensive contributions. After two periods, the Gamecocks commanded an 8-3 lead. 

The third period saw South Carolina put up three more goals from Haley McAlarney, Genevieve Crouch, and Morgan Giard to end the game with an 11-3 final. 

For Georgia, Oukes recorded her fourth hat trick of the season to add to an incredible campaign for the freshman. For the Gamecocks, Hadley Green’s hat trick and Morgan Giard’s three-point (2G, 1A) performance fueled their victory. 

Game 2: Senior Night

Georgia played its second game of the doubleheader (and final regular season game) against South Carolina at The Cooler in Alpharetta, GA, its first time playing at that rink this season, where it celebrated its four seniors who are playing in their final season on Senior Night. 

Similarly to the first game, South Carolina started the scoring with a goal from McLarney, assisted by Kuchman and Giard. Less than a minute later, however, Georgia tied it up with an unassisted Oukes goal and took the lead less than a minute after that on another Oukes goal on the feed from Mya Kearney. It looked as though Georgia would end the period with the lead, but South Carolina’s Nardslico spoiled that chance with a goal in the final minute to tie it at 2-2. Unfortunately for the Dawgs, it was the last time they would score while South Carolina would go on an offensive onslaught. 

Kuchman, Elwell, and Nardslico led the Gamecocks offense in the second period, combining for five goals. Georgia, on the other hand, went scoreless. It was a 7-2 Gamecocks lead after two periods.

The Gamecocks sprinkled six goals throughout the third, courtesy of Crouch, Giard, Nardslico, Elwell, and Kuchman, ending the game 13-2.

Not much was going for the Dawgs besides a pair of Oukes goals, which adds to her total of 26, tied for first in the College Hockey South (CHS) Women’s Division. 

Meanwhile, players up and down South Carolina’s roster tallied marks on the scoresheet, led by Nardlisco’s seven-point (5G, 2A) performance. Kuchman followed closely behind with five points (3G, 2A). 

The Dawgs were outshot 56 to 18 while being outscored 24 to 5 over the two games.

While it was not the result the Dawgs wanted, they celebrated their seniors in their final season with Georgia women’s hockey: captain Hannah Knight, Madison and Camille Jennings, and assistant captain Morgan Alwardt. 

In regards to the game, Knight said, “It was really good…even though we lost it was a really good game. It was tied, two to two, at the end of the first on Saturday. It was a very competitive game and South Carolina was a great team to play.” 

Despite the two losses, the Dawgs are in second place in the Women’s CHS Division at eight points behind the University of Tampa. 

The Dawgs will look to bounce back next week when they head to Nashville, TN for the first  Women’s Division CHS Playoffs, which will be from Feb. 9-11.

(Photo/Avni Trivedi)


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