On Friday, GW headed down the highway to Raleigh, NC to play in the third annual Stephen Russell Memorial Tournament. The tournament is the start of the in-conference schedule for GW, with three games in three days against opponents from North Carolina.
On Friday night, GW played Duke in the conference opener. After 5 minutes of feeling each other out, grad student Kevin Zhang opened the scoring on the PP followed quickly by another snipe from senior Jake Lessick to give GW a quick 2-0 lead. Duke would respond at the halfway point of the period to cut GW’s lead in half going into the second. Duke would tie the game early in the second, and after almost 1 minutes of scoreless hockey, freshman Diego Rebollar would pick up his own rebound in the slot to give GW the 3-2. Shortly after, Zhang potted his second of the night to give GW the insurance goal and a 4-2 lead going into the third. Sophomore Brian Sargent would get on the board early in the third, and it would be smooth sailing until Duke scored halfway through the period. That would be as close as Duke would come to a comeback though, as GW would hold off Duke 5-2. Sophomore Alec Astorga got the win in net with 34 saves.
On Saturday night, GW played NC State in what was a very hyped rematch of last year’s title game – and the game would not disappoint (though not nearly as high scoring as last year’s 9-8 final). In fact, there would be no scoring through the first period as the teams took a 0-0 tie into the locker room. NC State finally opened the scoring at the 6-minute mark. GW responded 7 minutes later with a power play goal from junior Alex Katsihtis. NC State would nab one more goal before the end of the second to take a 2-1 lead into the 2nd intermission. GW would tie the game back up early in the third on a goal by junior Alec Weinberg, but penalty trouble by GW would cede NC State two powerplay goals over the next 10 minutes to make the score 4-2. GW would cut the lead to 1 on goal by Lessick with 5 minutes remaining, but NC State would extend their lead back to 2 before the end of the third to take the game 5-3. Astorga would make his second start in 2 days in the loss.
On Sunday morning, GW was set to play UNC, but due to area flooding near the rink the game was cancelled. The same flooding also cancelled a Duke-Navy game the previous night, and so GW will be scheduling an additional game with Navy in the future to make up for it.
This coming Friday, GW is set to host revolutionary rival George Mason in their annual Colonials’ Weekend matchup. Not only that, but the hockey team has partnered with the Alpha Phi sorority who will be collecting donations during the game to benefit Lymphoma Research. So in addition to your buff and blue – make sure you wear purple! For more information, click here: https://www.facebook.com/events/213060925773651
Photo Credit: Matt Ricciardi