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Eagles Club Hockey Falls to Rival Spartans Twice to Open the Season

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Maddie Briggs Photo/maddiebriggsphotography.com

FGCU’s Division 2 club hockey team kicked off their season versus their rival, the University of Tampa Spartans, last weekend. 

Before the beginning of the first game, a ceremonial puck drop took place where FGCU’s new president, Aysegul Timur, said a few words on behalf of the FGCU community for Graham McGrath, a student who tragically passed away last month.

“He will always be in our hearts; he will always be remembered as a part of the Eagle family,” Timur said.

The first period of game one was all Tampa with their offense, as they were able to stun the Eagles with four goals during the period. They played a very scrappy game and raked up five penalties, which gave the Eagles plenty of power-play time. Unfortunately, they could not capitalize on it. After taking time during the intermission, the Eagles came into the second period with a much more effective game plan.

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The second period began with a goalie change, which helped the Eagles since four goals were given up in the first. Not too long after, the offense began to take shape for FGCU as they were able to score three goals and trim the lead from 4-0 to 4-3. Despite their offensive surge, Tampa scored an additional goal at the end of the period.The Eagles were faced with a two goal deficit going into the third period. 

The third and final period didn’t have too much to mention. Both teams struggled to get anything going, and Tampa’s empty-net goal sealed the 6-3 victory for the Spartans. The goals by the Eagles in their opening game were scored by Adam Beauvais, Thomas Zebley and Jake Court.

Maddie Briggs Photo/maddiebriggsphotography.com

FGCU looked to turn the weekend doubleheader around the next day. A second opportunity to beat Tampa at home.

The Eagles looked like a completely different team on Saturday than they did on Friday, with multiple shots on goal early. FGCU would fail to capitalize despite countless opportunities.

Penalties would be traded but a penalty on the Spartans opened the ice up for the Eagles. Taking advantage of the powerplay, Adam Beauvais scored the Eagles’ first goal of the game to take a 1-0 lead, his second goal in just two games.

Tampa soon broke through, ending the period with a goal to tie the Eagles at 1-1. Both teams exited the first period with the same number of shots on goal.

Heading into the second period, both teams looked to get the upper hand; however, both would not achieve any luck with defensive stands by both goalies.

After the second period, the game continued at 1-1, with the Eagles wanting to take control of the game before the Spartans did.

The third period would be intense as both teams turned up the aggression to grab the victory. There were four penalties, two by each team, in the first seven minutes of the final period. 

FGCU would claim the first goal of the third period, courtesy of Shayne Tomlinson on a short-handed goal. Tomlinson’s first goal of the season put the Eagles up 2-1.

The Eagles could not rest as Tampa would score just a minute later on a power play, tying the game up 2-2 with just over 12 minutes remaining.

Both teams would trade the puck back and forth, but Tampa scored the final goal of the game in the last three minutes to put the nail in the coffin on FGCU. Tampa would win 3-2 as FGCU starts their season with an 0-2 record.

The Eagles will be looking for redemption this weekend as they are in for another two games. They will face off at home against the Milwaukee School of Engineering on Oct. 6 and Oct. 7, both at 8:30 p.m.

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About the Contributor
Jeffrey Hrunka, Assistant Sports Editor
Jeffrey Hrunka is a junior double majoring in communications and journalism with a concentration in public relations. Jeffrey is from Fort Myers where his interest in sports journalism originated after falling in love with the world of motorsports. When he’s not working for Eagle News, he is usually spending time with friends, watching the New York Giants lose, or chilling in the pool.

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