IRMO, S.C. – The Commodores edged South Carolina again 5-4, but needed a come from behind, overtime win, to do so. weekend. Last night, the Commodores (4-0-0, 2-0-0 SECHC) had to hold off South Carolina (0-1-1, 0-1-1 SECHC), but today Vanderbilt found themselves looking for a goal late.
With three minutes to go in the third period, South Carolina’s Alex Andony put the Gamecocks in the lead 4-3.
Vanderbilt was forced to pull its goalie, and similar to the previous night, the extra skater proved beneficial as Alan Leeser scored his second goal of the game, tying it up with just 18 seconds remaining.
The Commodores grabbed the momentum right off the shoulders of South Carolina and didn’t waste it when the overtime period got underway.
Vanderbilt wasted no time in the overtime period scoring just 13 seconds in, off of a one-time shot from Brad Pesce after a faceoff in the offensive zone.
The Commodore comeback wasn’t the first of the game as Vanderbilt found themselves down early as well.
“We were really tired this morning; a lot of guys were beat up and tired from last night’s game”, said Vanderbilt goalie Brendon Oliver.
On Saturday morning, both teams had trouble offensively as the scoring didn’t start until more than seven minutes into the second frame.
The Gamecocks’ Kerry Wiant struck first off the power play in the second period.
Vanderbilt then proceeded to score a goal on a power play of its own to tie things up. Harry Landoff picked up the goal.
The rest of the period was played in Vanderbilt’s defensive zone, and concluded with South Carolina’s Hayden Lancaster scoring two goals in the last two minutes of the second period making it 3-1 at the intermission.
In the third, South Carolina could not keep themselves out of the penalty box. This was exemplified by two key power play goals by just 8 minutes in to the period to tie the game, and a momentum shift for the Commodores. Alan Leeser and Thomas Trepanier had the goals.
The Commodores attributed both comebacks to a deep bench.
“We have a lot of depth on the team this year,” said Oliver. “This is the first time we have ever had to make cuts since I have been player here.”
The Gamecocks next opponent will be Johnson and Wales University on Sept. 29. The game will be played at Pineville Icehouse in Pinevill, N.C.
Vanderbilt will be back on the road this weekend, as they travel to the Atlanta area. The Commodores will play Georgia State Sept. 3o at the Duluth IceForum in Duluth, Ga. Georgia Tech will host the Commodores Oct. 1 at The Ice in Cumming, Ga.