By Aileyahu Shanes
Follow on Twitter @a_shanes10
The Gators knew this weekend’s matchups were going to be their biggest tests of the season so far. The FAU Owls are known for their dominant success throughout the past couple of seasons. Although the Gators dropped the first game of the series, they bounced back in Game Two to show that they are still a team to compete with. Here is a breakdown of the two games.
Friday night’s game started out with FAU asserting its dominance right off the bat. Their offense dominated the first period scoring five goals. The first goal came from freshman forward Nick Solarino with an assist by David Israel. After that, Israel scored to bring the Owls’ lead to two. Junior Matias Weir then cashed in a goal from Clayton Cleveland and Myles Davidson to make it a 3-0 game. Sophomore freshman Michael Lesh put his name on the score sheet after that to make it a 4-0 game. David Israel recorded his second assist, and third point, of the game on that goal. To end off the period, junior Jake Friedman ripped one home to bring FAUs lead to five.
The Owls started out the second with the ice tipped their way again. Early in the period, junior Myles Davidson cashed one in with assists from Jake Friedman and Connor Doherty. The Gators fought back at the back end of the period, however. Andy Buchannan put UF on the board with his first goal of the season. Connor Nicholson than cashed in his second of the season off an assist from Parker Mara. By the end of the middle frame, the Owls led 6-2.
From then on, however, the Owls controlled the rest of the game. Jack Friedman scored the first and second goals of the third period to complete his hat trick. Nick Solarino then capped off the night with his second goal of the game. The final score was 9-2 FAU where the next game would be played the next day at 1:45pm.
It seemed in Game Two, however, the Gators finally cracked the code against the Owls. The first period did not show it, with FAU’s Jake Friedman recording his fourth goal of the weekend, but the Gators completely dominated the rest of the game.
From the second period and on it was all UF. Andrew Kuczynski put the Gators on the score board to tie up the game at one with his second goal of the season. Later in the period, who else but John Hunt would give the Gators the go-ahead goal with an assist by Parker Mara, who would have an amazing weekend overall. The score was now 2-1 UF at the end of the second and the Gators had a lot of momentum going into the last frame.
Florida used that momentum to score four more goals in the third. Harrison Haber started out the third period scoring with his fourth goal of the season with assists from Aidan Muruve and John Hunt. Parker Mara then recorded his third goal of the season to make it a 4-1 game. Assists came from John Coltellino and Hunt. After that, Connor Nicholson scored his second goal of the series to bring the Gators’ lead to four. Hunt recorded his third assist on the goal. To put the cherry on top, John Hunt chipped in his second goal, and fifth point, of the game to bring the score to 6-1.
The Gators may not have started off the weekend the way they wanted, but they made up for it with a dominant win the next day. This just shows how well this team can bounce back and stay toe-to-toe with their opponents.
The next Division Two game for the Gators will be against the University of South Carolina Gamecocks. It will be another weekend two game series on November 5th and 7th.