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Georgia women's hockey falls to South Carolina 11-2

RJ Craig | December 6, 2023

(Photo/Avni Trivedi)


On Friday evening, the South Carolina Gamecocks spoiled the home opener for Georgia women’s hockey, beating them 11-2 and handing them their third loss of the season.


It was the first game between the two teams, so neither team did not know what to expect from the other. Unbeknownst to the Dawgs, they were in for a rude awakening come puck drop because while it was the Gamecocks’ first game of the season, they sure looked to be in midseason form.


In the first period, the Gamecocks asserted their dominance over the Bulldogs, courtesy of defenseman Alyssia Nardslico and center Haley McAlarney.


The scoring started early, no less than a minute into the first period when McAlarney wristed a goal past Georgia goalie Ashlyn Carroll, after digging the puck out of the right corner. Nadlisco found the back of the net again about ten minutes later, on a rebound attempt following an initial stop by Carroll.


Nardslico scored her third goal of the night on the power play, putting a wrist shot up and to the right of Carroll, on the assist by McAlarney. The Nardslico-McAlarney connection led to another goal in the final minute of the period to take a commanding 4-0 lead.


The second period saw the Gamecocks build on their already big lead—this time, from the likes of center Averie Bowen and left winger Morgan Giard.


Only four minutes in, Bowen flung a wrist shot past, beating Carroll's glove side on the feed from Nardslico. A couple of minutes later, Giard got in on the scoring mania with a goal at the 9:19 mark on McAlarney’s third assist of the night.


Giard tacked on her second of the night only a half minute later with a pass from defenseman Zoe Elwell. Georgia finally found itself on the board following a solo effort from freshman forward Paige Oukes, after she skated past a couple of Gamecock defenders and ripped a wrist shot in the slot to beat Gamecock goalie Ursula Ahern.


The third period followed the same trend as the first two periods, as Nardslico and left winger Hana Donnelly poured on the goals for the Gamecocks, each of them scoring twice.


Nardslico scored about three minutes into the third, but only seconds later, the Dawgs responded right back while on the power play, with Oukes lifting one glove side past Ahern, on the pass from Camille Jennings—that was the last time the Dawgs would score.


Donnelly scored her first of the night, a short-handed goal, on a Gamecocks penalty kill. Nardslico added one more goal for what was an already phenomenal night for her while Donnelly capped off the scoring with a fluky goal in the last two minutes of the game after a mishandling of the puck by the Dawgs goalie.


The Gamecocks proved their might against the Dawgs as they filled up the scoresheet from players up and down their roster, namely Alyssa Nardslico. She led the team in points with seven (five goals, two assists), followed by Haley McAlarney (one goal, three assists) and Zoe Elwell (four assists) with four points apiece.


Goalie Ursula Ahern had a fairly quiet night, only facing 19 shots the entire game while stopping 17 of them.


The Dawgs, on the other hand, were outmatched and had little to show for South Carolina’s offensive onslaught, excluding Oukes’ two goals. Speaking of Oukes, she added to what has been a stellar freshman campaign with an impressive seventeen goals through six games, averaging almost three goals a game, good for second in the College Hockey South Women’s division.


On the goaltender side of things, it was a busy night for Carroll, who faced a whopping 73 shots on goal from the Gamecocks.


While Georgia succumbed to the South Carolina beating, the players were merely happy to be out on the ice and playing a sport they love all the while being part of the movement for women’s hockey in the state of Georgia.


Following the game, junior forward Katherine Davis said, “It was really good. It's great to play someone that wasn't Auburn. And it was really awesome to know that [women’s hockey is] expanding, since the only team we've played so far have been the Florida teams and Auburn, so having South Carolina come into the league was really good for expansion and good for exposure.”


The Dawgs will take a break for the holidays but will ring in the new year when they take on the Auburn Tigers at the Columbus Civic Center on Friday, January 12 (time TBD).


(Photo/Avni Trivedi)


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