Hockey honors Brown, wins one in weekend series

Tech’s ice hockey team held its fifth Lt. Tyler Brown Scholarship Weekend on Nov. 13-14 at the Ice Forum in Kennesaw, Ga. The team won a 4-1 battle on Friday night against Embry-Riddle but fell in a 9-7 heartbreaker against Tennessee on Saturday night.

This event has become an annual tradition for the hockey team since the first such weekend in 2005. The Jackets honored Brown, MGT/HST ‘01, who was a former Tech undergraduate student body president, a member of the Kappa Alpha Order and a Tech ROTC cadet. Brown died on Sept. 14, 2004 in a skirmish with insurgents in Iraq.

Army ROTC cadets from Tech, Kennesaw State and SPSU served as the color guard for the pregame ceremony, and the teams observed a moment of silence in honor of the victims of the Fort Hood shooting on Nov. 5.

Brown’s parents, Carey and Sally, then participated in a ceremonial puck drop with members of both teams. The Browns started a scholarship fund in Tyler’s name, and the team collected donations before each of the games.

The Jackets then took the ice to face Embry-Riddle in the weekend opener. The visiting Eagles controlled the puck early on, but junior goalie Maxx Lucas kept Embry-Riddle in check.

8:20 into the period, a shot from Tech freshman defenseman Bobby Bishop rebounded to sophomore forward Ryan Fritz, who quickly scored Tech’s first goal.

Fritz’s goal was the only one of the period as the Jackets and Eagles engaged in a physical battle.

Early in the second period, Fritz was tripped on a breakaway, resulting in a Tech power play. The Jackets passed well around the perimeter, and 6:07 into the period they set up a goal by graduate student Ian Yang on the right side, with two defensemen—freshman Alan Dagesse and junior Dan Podratsky—picking up assists.

Tech was in control for much of the period, shutting down most Embry-Riddle attacks, and 14:56 into the period Fritz notched his second goal on a long slap shot.

Fritz completed a hat trick early in the final period when, during an Embry-Riddle power play, he stole the puck from an Eagle forward and scored shorthanded.

Behind its strong defense, Tech killed five third-period penalties and cruised to a 4-1 victory.

Tech’s second game of the weekend featured a battle of teams ranked in the regional top 10, as the No. 8 Jackets faced No. 4 Tennessee. On Oct. 10, Tennessee held off Tech 7-6 in an overtime shootout in Knoxville.

For the game, both teams wore stickers on their jerseys honoring Brown and Tyler Trahan, who served with the U.S. Navy and earned numerous decorations, including a Purple Heart. Trahan perished on April 30, 2009 during a combat operation in Iraq.

Tech came out strong against the Volunteers. After several early opportunities, Fritz launched a shot past two Tennessee defensemen into the corner of the net for Tech’s first goal.

The Jackets then capitalized on a two-man advantage. Fritz set up senior defenseman Fred Holgado on a one-timer goal, and Lostracco scored at the end of the power play to give Tech a 3-0 lead.

Junior center Michael Midgette added a score of his own when he outraced a Tennessee defenseman to the puck, spun to gain control, and fired a shot into the net. The goal put Tech ahead 4-0.

Unfortunately for Tech, the Volunteers gradually fought back. The score remained 5-1 after two periods, but Tennessee caught fire in the final period, scoring eight goals—including the final five of the game—to take the match.

Tech’s final series of the fall takes place this weekend at the Greg Stathis Holiday Tournament in Augusta, Ga.