By Aileyahu Shanes
Follow on Twitter @a_shanes10
Let’s hope the Gators are well rested, because they have a tough test this weekend. The 5-3-1 Gators are facing the 12-5-0 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in a back-to-back-weekend series. This matchup is important for Florida’s SECHC playoff chances, as the Yellow Jackets are conference rivals. The Gators also have seven SECHC games left this season, and this weekend’s games comprise of two of them.
Georgia Tech’s season has been very impressive. On top of their 12-5-0 overall record, they hold a 5-0-0 record against SECHC opponents, giving them a good chance to secure one of the top eight spots to make the SECHC playoff. The Yellow Jackets have been dangerous, with their focal point being their dominating offensive production. Take their last two games for example. In a back-to-back matchup against Kennesaw State, Georgia Tech scored eight goals in each game, securing wins in each.
Georgia Tech’s players are putting up incredible individual stats. One player to watch is team captain Matthew Connolly. Connolly is a junior forward from Suwannee, Georgia. In just fourteen games, Connolly has put up 32 points, eighteen goals and fourteen assists. Forward Ryyan Reule is also someone to look out for. The Devils Lake, North Dakota, product has 24 points, twelve goals and twelve assists in only fifteen games. Another impressive Yellow Jacket is freshman defenseman Earl Gretzinger. The Bronxville, New York, native has 21 points in seventeen games. He was also good enough to win CHF Freshman of the Month for the month of November.
The Gators are looking to come out with two wins with some fresh faces on their roster. Forwards CJ Newlon, Brad Christman and defenseman Lewie Schacht are all making their DII debuts tonight. Newlon, a junior from Daytona Beach, recorded eight points in as many games for the DIII squad. Christman is a graduate student from Michigan, who recorded five points in eight games for DIII. Schacht is a junior from Gainesville. The Alachua County resident scored five points in only six games for DIII.
Both games will be played in Atlanta at the Atlanta Ice Forum. Puck drop for tonight’s game is at 7:30pm while tomorrow’s game will start at noon.