Once again, it was time for GW to head down to North Carolina for the annual Stephen Russell Tournament, which would begin the Colonials' in-conference schedule. This year's opponents were Elon on Friday, High Point on Saturday night, and Wake Forest on Sunday.
On Friday, GW faced Elon in what started as a tight battle. After the first period it was 1-0 Elon, but once the team lost their bus legs they poured it on in the second with three unanswered goals by senior forward Alec Weinberg, grad forward Nick Ryan, and grad forward Kevin Zhang. Elon would finally respond before the end of the period, so GW took a 4-2 lead going into the third. Weinberg got one almost as soon as the period opened to give the Colonials a 5-2 lead, and junior forward Will Yerkovich closed the game out with an empty netter to make it 6-2. Junior goalie Alec Astorga got the win in net, turning aside 23 shots.
On Saturday morning, GW players Alec Astorga, Sam Kirby, Jack McGeary, Cam Rapoza, and Justin Storer participated in the annual skills competition and helped run a special needs clinic for a local program. While no skills contests were won, senior defenseman Austin Fruchter was presented an award for 2017 ACCHL scholar of the year!
That evening, GW faced High Point and the scoring began early and often for the Colonials. GW set a new team record (since 2005 at least) with 19 goals in a single game, which came off of 82 shots. Goals came from Freshman defenseman Same Kirby, senior forward Tommy O'Connor, W. Yerkovich, grad student defenseman Ryan Rice, senior forward Connor Varley (2) , Weinberg (5), freshman forward Justin Storer (2), sophomore forward Alec Yerkovich, Zhang, Ryan, senior defenseman Alex Katsihtis, junior forward Jin Ahn, and sophomore forward Joseph Frongillo. Among that flurry of goals, High Point would pot five of their own for a final score of 19-5. Senior goalie Corey Nadell and junior goalie Daniel Soar split duties for the win, combining for 25 saves.
Finally on Sunday morning, GW faced their toughest competition yet against Wake Forest. Uncharacteristically, the first half of the game was a defensive stalemate with neither team scoring. Kevin Zhang finally broke open the scoring with eight to go in the second period on the power play. Wake Forest would respond right back with their own power play goal to tie at 1. Nick Ryan would restore GW's lead just a minute later, but Wake Forest would again tie the score at 2-2. Thirty seconds later, Will Yerkovich would find the back of the net to get GW's lead back, and the team headed into the third period up 3-2. Wake Forest would tie it up early in the third, and then the stalemate returned until just two-and-a-half minutes to go when Nick Ryan would get his second of the night. Alec Yerkovich would seal it with an empty-netter in the final seconds to secure GW's 5-3 win.
With the three wins, GW returns home in the lead of the Capital Division. The team would like to thank the Buckleys and the ACCHL who put the tournament together, it was another successful event!
GW returns to Kettler Capitals Iceplex three times this October, where Friday nights will be "College Hockey Night in DC" as they face Kentucky (Oct 13), Navy (Oct 20 - Colonials Weekend), and Georgetown (Oct 27). All games are at 6:40pm and free and open to the public. We hope you'll join us!
Photo Credit: Matt Ricciardi