After Initial Loss, USF Ice Bulls Bounce Back to Beat #1 Ranked UCF For The First Time in Three Years!
This weekend, your #13 USF Ice Bulls kicked off the 2014 campaign to Regionals with a home and away double header against the #1 University of Central Florida Knights. Friday’s game was played on the road at the RDV Sportsplex Ice Den, Orlando. The game started fast tempo and it wasn’t before long that UCF took the lead, just five minutes in to the game. USF had chances to level the game but failed to capitalize. UCF went on to double their lead with two minutes remaining in the first to close out the period at 2-0. USF regrouped and came out a different team in the second period. USF were rewarded with their efforts and made it 1-0 with a breakaway chance from Andrew Silvers that was coolly finished. The assist went to Matt Meyer. Shortly after, Michael Pelletier picked up his first goal in a USF jersey with a rebound to level the game at 2-2. USF wasn’t done there though as DJ Guggi scored a tip in on a 5-on-3 opportunity for USF to take the lead at 3-2. Matt Meyer was credited with his second assist of the night. USF finished off an astonishing comeback in the second period with a goal from Joe Heckes, assisted by Aaron Humphrey, to lead 4-2. UCF weren’t going down easy though as they quickly brought the lead back to just one, four minutes into the third. The USF defense tried to keep it tight but UCF broke through to leave the game all square half way through the third. Netminder Alex Miller continued to stand on his head for the USF Ice Bulls but couldn’t stop UCF taking the lead once more at 5-4 with seven minutes to go in regulation. USF gave it everything to regain the lead but were unable to convert their chances. The game finished 5-4 to UCF.
After the unlucky loss, USF were looking for redemption at home on Saturday. This time it was USF who took the lead with a pass from Andrew Silvers finding DJ Guggi in the slot to make it 1-0. With the gained momentum USF made it 2-0 with a casually put away goal by Anthony Bergstrom for his first of the season. Assists went to Justin Quillen and Michael Budd. The second period started with some great physical end-to-end hockey. Alex Miller in net again did well to shut out the UCF offense who were keen to get their team back in the game. Most of the second period remained goal less until Andrew Silvers put away a breakaway goal for his second of the weekend to make it 3-0. USF were looking in control going in to the third with a comfortable lead. UCF didn’t roll over though as they came out all guns blazing and managed to score early in the third and make it 3-1. UCF turned up the pressure and scored once more, just a minute later, to make it 3-2. The chances of a comeback began to look all the more promising for the UCF knights. The USF Ice Bulls didn’t waiver though and did well to keep their composure in the third. A well finished goal from Justin Quillen marked his return to the team and put the nail in the coffin for UCF at 4-2. Alex Miller closed out the game with a splendid save that finished off a great weekend for the USF netminder and the team. USF deservedly won the game 4-2 to mark their first win against #1 ranked UCF Knights in three years.
This weekend your USF Ice Bulls hope to continue this good form against the #15 Florida Atlantic University Owls for a home double-header. Both games will be played at Ellenton Ice and Sports Complex, Friday’s faceoff is at 9:00pm and Saturday’s is at 3:30pm so come on down and cheer on your Ice Bulls!
Written by #10 Huw Baveystock.