By Aileyahu Shanes
Follow on Twitter @a_shanes10
The Florida Gators hope to bounce back from their overtime loss on Sunday against the University of Tennessee Volunteers. The team made a great push at the end of the game, so hopefully that performance will transfer over against the University of Central Florida.
The Gators currently sit at fifth in the SECHC standings, with a 1-0-1 SECHC record and a 2-0-1 overall record. The division is extremely close, so just a few wins can bring the Gators on top. These next two games, however, are against a Southern Collegiate Hockey Conference opponent; so, these next two games will not count towards their SECHC standings.
The Knights’ start to the season has been a disappointment for their fans so far. They currently hold a 1-5 record, with their first win coming from a 2-1 win against USF on Saturday. However, anything can happen in a hockey game and teams can easily bounce back. Knights’ goaltender Nathan Shields has been coming up big for UCF lately. He can be a guy that can possibly steal them a game.
The Gators offensive and defensive game has been great so far. Their forward group, led by John Hunt and Vinny Marino, continuously makes games a living nightmare for opposing goaltenders. The Gators have an average of seven goals per game so far; and if they keep up this success, they should not have too much trouble this weekend. Their defense has been solid as well; with both Andrew Kuczynski and Matthew Brkljacic having impressive defensive performances every game.
What will be a make-or-break for the Gators is goaltending. It seemed like both goaltenders were a little shaky in both matches against the Ice Vols this past weekend. However, Tyler Uhr appeared to have been a lot more locked in at the end of the second game. If Uhr sticks to that level of performance, the Gators should have a good shot against the UCF Knights.
The games will be played tonight and Saturday October 2nd at the RDV Sportsplex Ice Den in Orlando. Puck drop for both matches will be at 9:00pm. If you are going to the game, tickets will be sold at the door for ten dollars each. The game will also be streamed live at dspnlive.com where it will cost ten dollars per game to watch.