Last weekend your USF Ice Bulls faced the #2 (now #1) Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles in the last home and away fixtures of the season. The USF Ice Bulls were hoping to get a couple of all important wins that would boost their chances of making regionals to be held in Columbia, South Carolina in March.
The USF Ice Bulls were the hosts on Friday night and were hoping to finish strong to close out their home games for the season. The game was instantly high tempo and physical but it was FGCU who were first on the board, just over three minutes in. USF continued to bring physicality to the ice but the FGCU defense remained reluctant. FGCU went on to score again with only three minutes left in the period to finish the first at 2-0. USF tried their best to bring the game back but conceded yet again half way through the second. FGCU began to look confident and scored another three goals on the back of the second period to leave the USF Ice Bulls trailing at 6-0 going into the third. The Ice Bulls were looking to regain some pride in the final period of the game. Tempers began to flare from both sides, with each team conceding numerous penalties. It was the USF Ice Bulls who suffered though as, despite Alex Miller’s best efforts, FGCU made it 7-0 early in the third. The USF Ice Bulls began to waiver and continued to concede as FGCU added four more goals to their tally to finish the game at 11-0 to FGCU.
Saturday’s game was now a must win game for the USF Ice Bulls if they wanted to keep their regionals hopes alive. Even though they were the visitors, the USF Ice Bulls were looking to make up for their heavy loss the night before. The first period featured some fast-pace end-to-end hockey yet it was FGCU who scored first, half way through the period. The Ice Bulls had some promising chances but remained goal less in the first. The USF Ice Bulls looked to be dead in the dirt in the second as they had to kill an eight minute penalty half way through the first. The penalty killers remained disciplined though and managed to kill the penalty without conceding a single goal. The USF Ice Bulls had some momentum from this crucial penalty kill to take into the third as they were trailing by just one goal. The USF Ice Bulls couldn’t make it count though as they conceded six unanswered goals in the third to lose the game 7-0.
On the back of this game, the rankings were released and your USF Ice Bulls were ranked #12, just losing out on a top ten spot that would take them to regionals. Although the season has drawn to a close, your USF Ice Bulls would like to take this opportunity to thank all the family, friends and USF Ice Bulls fans for their support this season, without you this season wouldn’t have nearly been as special as it was. We hope to see you again next season!
Written by #10 Huw Baveystock.