While Tech’s record may indicate a disastrous season, their success against UGA may have helped salvage the year. Early season injuries left the team with a lot of inexperience on the ice at times and that led to a 2-11 record.
The season turned around when they beat UGA 5-0, which started a 5-4 stretch that ended with the sweep. The accomplishment was last done almost seven years ago, during the 2001-02 season.
“It’s one of the main goals we can take out of the season. We haven’t done it in a while. It feels really good to be the guys who can beat Georgia. It’s really good to be able to say we swept them this season,” said Drew Baker, a fourth-year Chemical Engineering major. He plays forward for the team and is the president of the club.
Tech trailed 2-1 going into the third period, but rallied, scoring two goals in the final frame for the win.
Whitney Yiu scored the go-ahead goal late in the period to secure the win and the sweep for the Jackets.
“We beat them the week before in Savannah and that coupled with the first win; we knew we could do it. We figured they were going to come out hard and give us their best game because they didn’t want to get swept,” Baker said.
The win follows the events of the second game between the two rivals in Savannah last Saturday.
No. 2 UGA was unable to avenge the rout it had at the hands of Tech the first time around, eventually losing in overtime, 3-2.
The game was played in front of a crowd of well over 5000 people.
One of the most important players has been the first-year goaltender Maxx Lucas. During his games against UGA, the rookie has dominated the Bulldogs.
He has posted a 1.36 goals against average and has a shutout against UGA, keeping the Dawgs scoreless on Nov. 16, helping to propel his team to the victory.
Though the Jackets have had considerable success against the Dawgs, they have struggled through much of the season, falling to a record of 7-15.
They were expected to compete with the best teams at the start of the season, but have had to deal with numerous injuries as well as departures from the team.
The team has started eight freshmen and have had to make substitutions to accommodate the changing state of the lineup.
They have made some strides, as they have defeated several top-15 teams, include then ranked No. 4 South Florida, No. 10 Clemson and No. 11 Alabama.
Their feat against Georgia has given them three solid wins against a team that has consistently ranked near the top or at the top of the rankings.
The Jackets will finish the regular season against Tennessee in Knoxville this weekend. Tech will need to finish in the top-10 for the Jackets to qualify for the South Regional at the Duluth Ice Forum.
They will hope to improve on a ranking of No. 16 that may see them miss the tournament for this season.