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Clemson ice hockey falls to Georgia, suffers third straight loss

Leah Marie Pereira
Ethan Callahan (16) takes a faceoff during Clemson’s game against Vanderbilt on Jan. 13.

The Clemson club ice hockey team suffered a 7-3 loss against the Division I Georgia Bulldogs last Friday. With the loss, the Tigers currently sport a 10-7-0 record, landing fifth in the College Hockey South standings.

The Bulldogs bookended the scoring; the contest remained scoreless for the first half of the opening period until Georgia’s Ryan Bailey got the Bulldogs on the board with 11:37 left. His teammate Robert Witwer followed suit shortly after.

With 1:56 remaining, Clemson captain Thomas Samuelsen — with help from Sully Kopf and Will Ralsten — cut Georgia’s lead in half when he pushed the puck past goaltender Ryan Testino amidst a net-front scramble.

The two teams traded power-play goals early in the middle frame. The Bulldogs took a 3-1 lead at 5:06, but Clemson answered in short order, courtesy of Santiago Diaz. Ralsten and Samuelsen picked up their second points of the night on Diaz’s goal.

Georgia took a 4-2 lead before the end of the second period, and the Bulldogs did not relent from there.

Overcoming a two-goal differential is not new for the Tigers, so the team came out buzzing for the final stanza. Just 4:55 in, Herb Kopf etched Clemson’s third score of the matchup — his 12th of the season — to slice Georgia’s lead in half for the second time.

Though Clemson had momentum on its side, Georgia went on to score three more before the final buzzer sounded to defeat the Tigers for the second time this season.

Clemson looks to get back in the win column next weekend when it hosts the Tennessee Volunteers for a series taking place on Friday and Saturday.

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Kelly Kaelblein, Asst. Sports Editor
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