FGCU DIII hockey wins semifinal, heads to championship final
The Florida Gulf Coast University DIII hockey team beat Oakland University in the ACHA National Championship semifinal in overtime taking the Eagles to the championship game Saturday, March 14.
“Never give up,” alternate captain Nick Mucerino said. “We haven’t been given anything, so we have to go out there and take it.”
Brett Sutton scored the game-winning goal in the first minute of the overtime period, assisted by Ryan McAleese. To start the game, Eagles’ captain Mike Piatek buried the puck with an assist from Derek Nutter.
“Honestly, I’m speechless,” Piatek said. “We were the underdog going in against Oakland, whose record was 30-1-4. The only loss Oakland had was to us in the beginning of the season. Nobody here is rooting for us. They count us out before the game even starts. It was a crazy game, but we stuck with it.”
In the third period, Tyler Reichl brought the Eagles up to cut the deficit to 3-2. With an empty net, McAleese scored the tying goal before Sutton brought the game home in overtime.
“The boys never quit believing in each other,” coach Kevin Mixon said. “One more.”