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Clemson ice hockey suffers two losses to Tampa to close the regular season

Ellie Godwin // Provided

Clemson centerman Troy Gouveia (14) and others warm up before their game against South Carolina on Jan. 28, 2023. 

The Clemson ice hockey team ended its regular season last Friday and Saturday with back-to-back 9-4 and 14-2 losses to Tampa. 

Clemson (9-11-0) incurred 14 of the game’s 26 total penalties on Friday and five of 11 total penalties on Saturday. As a result, three of the Spartans’ nine goals during Friday’s game came during power plays. 

The Tigers started off well on Friday, though, as Clemson centerman Nicholas Chesare scored the first goal of the series, assisted by left-winger Sully Kopf and right-winger Herbert Kopf. With 4:18 remaining in the first, Sully Kopf gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead, assisted by Herbert Kopf and left-winger Cade Heinold. 

Despite the Tigers’ hot start, by the 17:30 mark, Tampa had evened the score at 2-2. Fifteen seconds after Tampa’s equalizer, Clemson centerman Ronan Bryant put the Tigers ahead once again, a goal that was assisted by centerman Graydon Schweizer and captain Jack Owen-Turner. 

However, the Tigers’ luck and patience ran out as the clock kept ticking. With 1:25 left in the first, centerman Troy Gouveia took a two-minute penalty for clipping, and the Spartans quickly capitalized on the resulting power play to tie the score at 3-3. Then, with 36 seconds left, defenseman Christian Romeo took a two-minute penalty for high-sticking, and Tampa defenseman Daniel Griffin took advantage for a 4-3 lead entering the second period. 

Clemson was scoreless during the second period, but the Spartans netted four goals for an 8-3 lead entering the final frame. 

Early in the third period, defenseman Christian Kukas earned Tampa’s ninth and final goal of the game. With 15:41 remaining, the Tigers’ frustration resulted in five penalties and two ejections. Out of Clemson’s 14 total penalties on Friday, eight came during the third period. 

With nine minutes left, Bryant scored his second goal of the night, unassisted, and brought the final score to 9-4. 

The following day, Clemson suffered a 14-2 loss. The Tigers’ first goal came early in the second period from assistant captain Thomas Samuelsen. Their second goal came from Schweizer, who was assisted by Owen-Turner and Gouveia, two minutes into the third period. 

Despite the loss, the Tigers qualified for the AAU National Tournament, and if they travel to Chester, Pennsylvania, they will play between March 10-15. 

An earlier version of this article claimed that the Clemson ice hockey team missed the playoffs. The Tigers did qualify for the AAU National Tournament. The Tiger regrets this error and has since corrected it.

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Kelly Kaelblein
Kelly Kaelblein, Asst. Sports Editor
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