The Hoyas completed a comeback in their season opener on Friday, September 15th as they defeated the James Madison Dukes 5-3.
The game started fast-paced. The Hoyas took control of the puck and put pressure on the Dukes. However, 5 minutes into the first period, the Hoyas’ momentum stopped as a scuffle broke out on the ice, resulting in a 7-minute penalty and an ejection for Hoya junior forward Tyler Anderson.
The Hoyas fought hard to stall out the 7-minute penalty but ended up conceding the game’s first goal.
The Dukes then fired a volley of shots, but Hoya junior goalie Mark Perrachia kept the game close as he made save after save. In the last minute of the first period, the Hoyas roared back to a tie game with a rifled wrist shot into the top right corner by graduate student forward Phil Pikus.
The Hoyas totaled a massive 11 penalty minutes in the first period. In intermission, the team voiced their thoughts. “It was a disappointing period.The penalties really hurt us,” said freshman forward Zach Schulman.
At the start of the second period, the Hoyas were in control, as they possessed the puck in the offensive zone. The Dukes’ goalie, however, made multiple key saves to keep the score level. “We were frustrated. We felt like we were doing enough to score another goal,” said sophomore defenseman Ryan Kaplan.
Late in the second period, the Hoyas found themselves gifted with a five on three powerplay. The Hoyas worked quickly as junior forward Teddy Dyer fired a one-timer past the JMU goalie, giving the Hoyas their first lead of the season.
As the second period came to an end, Georgetown senior forward and captain Daniel Sippel appeared to be injured. Sippel did not come out on the ice to start the third period, but watched his team from the stands in a wheelchair. After the game, the injury was determined to not be serious. However, he was forced to sit out for the remainder of the JMU match.
With a little over five minutes into the third period, the Hoyas took advantage of another five on three powerplay. With 12:47 remaining in the third period, Pikus scored with a long-range wrist shot, putting the Hoyas up 3-1.
The Dukes responded, though–they charged the net and put in their second goal past junior goalie Mark Perrachia with 9:03 remaining. A few minutes later, Hoya captain and senior forward Joe Walker scored to restore the two-goal lead with only 5:21 remaining in the game. However, it didn’t last long, as the Dukes answered back within a minute to make the score 4-3 for the Hoyas.
Needing only one more goal, the Dukes pulled their goalie and pressed the Hoyas into their own zone. A huge chance was denied thanks to a key block by Hoya forward Henry Nelson. A few more key saves by Perrachia and an empty net goal by junior defenseman Peter Korn secured a 5-3 victory for the Hoyas.
Despite an injury to captain Daniel Sippel and an ejection, the Hoyas battled through adversity to pick up their first win of the season. “I was glad to see the team respond well even after I had to leave the game. As the captain, it made me proud,” said Sippel.