The final two weekends of the regular season couldn't have been more different, but this past weekend GW made sure the ship was righted before next Friday's 1st-round matchup with UNC at the ACCHL playoffs in Charlottesville.
On Saturday, February 4th, family commitments kept a few top players out of the lineup, and while the short bench fought hard, they ultimately fell to Navy in their second matchup 5-3. Jake Lessick, Will Yerkovich, and Nick Ryan scored for GW, but a 3 goal flurry in the third period ultimately got Navy the win.
The following weekend with a full roster, GW got back to their winning ways in a big way. On Friday, February 10th, GW continued the Revolutionary Rivalry on ice in a matchup with George Mason. GW came out flying nabbing the first goal of the period just 6 minutes into the game from grad student forward Kevin Zhang. The Colonials continued to dominate play, outshooting Mason 13-6 in the first, and finished the period off with a goal by sophomore forward Will Yerkovich to take a 2-0 lead into the break. They got back to scoring right away in the second period, as junior forward Alec Weinberg banked a shot in off the goalie from behind the net. Mason would finally get on the board 7 minutes later, and Weinberg would respond with his second of the night to keep the three goal lead. However, a 2-goal push by Mason to end the period would close the gap to just 1 going into the third. In the third, the teams evenly battled for a while but at the halfway point Weinberg completed his hattrick and freshman forward Nick Celani picked up his first of the year to give GW a 6-3 lead. The teams would trade goals with 5 minutes to go - Weinberg getting his 4th of the night - for a final score of 7-4. Junior goalie Corey Nadell got the win in net, stopping 29 of 33 shots.
The next night, GW had their third and final matchup of the year with Navy. The teams traded goals early in the game, with GW's coming from freshman forward Alec Yerkovich. GW would close out the period on a three-goal-tear with goals from Will Yerkovich, Jake Lessick, and a second from Alec Yerkovich for a 4-1 lead at intermission. The teams would again trade goals early in the second period, with GW's coming on the power play courtesy of sophomore forward Brian Sargent. The first line came up big in the middle part of the stanza with two goals coming from Lessick and Weinberg, giving GW a 7-2 lead going into the third. Navy would get two goals in the third, matched by GW goals from Weinberg and junior forward Connor Varley for a final score of 9-4.
With that, GW ended the season 14-5-1 overall and 6-2-1 in ACCHL play, good enough to clinch the Capitol Division for the second year in a row and 3rd place in next week's ACCHL Playoffs. Their first round opponent will be #6 University of North Carolina. Here is the full playoff schedule:
2:00pm - #4 UNC-Charlotte vs. #5 NC State
4:30pm - #2 Wake Forest vs. #7 James Madison
7:00pm - #1 Univ. of Virginia vs. #8 St. Joseph's
9:30pm - #3 George Washington vs. #6 Univ. of North Carolina
4:30pm - Semifinal #1
9:00pm - Semifinal #2
12:00pm - Finals
All games will be played at Main Street Arena in Charlottesville, VA. Make sure to stay tuned to both www.acchockey.com as well as GW's Twitter and Facebook pages to stay up to date on everything going on!
Photo Credit: Matt Ricciardi