After a preseason prediction to finish last in the SECHC East, and two devastating losses at the beginning of the season it is becoming clear that Gamecocks of South Carolina (5-1-1) have refused to fold under pressure.
The Gamecocks who entered last weekend dead last in the eastern conference, swept the Tennessee Volunteers (2-5) to move up to second place in the entire SECHC behind just Florida who suffered a loss just last week in Knoxville to the Vols.
South Carolina did this by defeating the Volunteers 12-3 on Friday night and then again on Saturday 5-2.
The first game of this critical series did not see much competition as the Gamecocks held a 6-0 lead after just the first period.
However, in the second most of the action was seen after the whistle with a Tennesse player being ejected for Cross Checking Carolina’s Michael Bauer on to the ice after he had already been penalized.
South Carolina lost one of its own players as well after a blatent cheap shot from Tennessee on Thomas Whitmire on the boards left him with a concussion.
South Carolina’s standout forward Hayden Lancaster finished the game with five goals and the Cocks wrapped up a 12-3 butchering over the Volunteers on Friday.
However, Saturday Night told a different story as some of South Carolina’s key players did not dress including forwards Hayden Lancaster and Andrew Swint, leaving only Deion Mack as the only player dressed on Saturday who had scored the night before.
The Volunteers looked like a completely different team for the fifty five minutes of the game including two power play goals, and a 2-2 tie with Carolina in the third.
However, with about five minutes remaining on the clock the true freshman Trevor Begley sent a perfect pass from behind the net to Alex Andony at center ice who gave a one timer to Sterling Brown which ended up in the back of the net giving South Carolina a 3-2 lead in the third.
The South Carolina Gamecocks would finish with two consecutive goals, and a 5-2 win over the Tennessee Volunteers.
“This weekend was the perfect test to see where we are at in the conference after those two tough losses to Vanderbilt”, said Trevor Begely, “We knew coming in to these games we were better than our record, and I think now we are really starting to hit our peak on the ice”
South Carolina will play Clemson away on Thursday night, and then home on Friday. With the conclusion of that game the Gamecocks can look forward to a double header against the Florida Gators in Columbia that could decide the regular season title holder.