Auburn’s penalty troubles proved to be their demise as the Tigers fell at home to the Yellow Jackets by score of 6-2 on Friday night. Auburn entered the game boasting a 3-5 record, while the visitors from Atlanta sat at 3-3 when the puck dropped.
Auburn Shorts on Goal: 26
Georgia Tech Shots on Goal: 48
Auburn Penalty Kill: 6-8
Georgia Tech Penalty Kill: 5-6
The game got off to a quick start with Tech taking the opening face-off to the net and smoking one past Auburn goaltender Hayden Harris only 21 seconds into the game. Following the score, the Jackets dominated their offensive zone and forced Auburn to play some solid defense, until a slashing penalty on the Tigers sent Tech on the game’s first power play.
Auburn continued their sound first period defense and fought off the Tech attack, but a dive from Tech’s Michael Leon puts them back at a man advantage. Auburn’s defense had been bending for some time and eventually broke as Tech’s Cernich and Gauvin get assists on the team’s first power play goal. 2-0 Jackets.
The Tigers were not discouraged, and quickly jumped back on the offensive. Tech forward Kevin Sheridan is called for tripping with five to go in the first, putting Auburn on its first power play.
The home team quickly jumped on this opportunity, feeding the puck to freshman James Barrall who beat out Jacket netminder Caleb Rudnicki to break the ice for the Tiger offense. Auburn finished the period strong by sending Leon into the boards with a huge hip check. Both teams head to the locker rooms with the Yellow Jackets leading by one.
The second period got off to a hot start with Jacket defenseman Min Kim getting sprawled out by the aggressive Tiger forecheck. Tensions got high as the stripes began to dole out penalty minutes to both teams, forcing a man advantage on both sides. Auburn kills the first Tech power play but is quickly greeted by a prolonged 4-on-4 skate when Kim takes another hit into the glass.
Tripping is called on Tech, but the Tigers fail to capitalize. Even with a 4-on-3 advantage, the stout Tech defense dominated the blue line and kept the puck in their control. The laces really came skates as the Tigers got sloppy on defense. A huge turnover in the neutral zone leads to the Jackets crashing the net for two quick goals against the reeling Auburn defense in the span of 80 seconds. 4-1 Jackets.
More careless defense leads to a fifth Tech goal as Harris isn’t given a chance by his skaters. Auburn tries to claw their way back into things by taking two Tech players to the penalty box and scoring two different man advantages in the waning minutes of the second. Rudnicki stands on his head to keep the Tigers out of the net as the Jackets kill both penalties and return things to 5-on-5. Adding insult to injury, a late face-off gives Gauvin another point as he nets a killing blow with less than seven seconds in the frame.
The Tigers take the ice playing for pride in the third, down four goals to the visiting engineers. After being shut out in the seconds, the Auburn offense gets back in rhythm as senior Adam Karlson launches one top-shelf to light the lamp with 17 to go in the tilt.
Both teams showing signs of fatigue, Auburn and Tech exchange high-sticking penalties and big hits into the boards. Auburn keeps up the pressure but neither team is able to take advantage of the man advantage. Cernich and Karlson both do their time in the box as time ticks away.
The Tigers put up a better offensive showing in the third period, but fall short as they can’t manage another goal. The Jackets keep the pressure on and don’t let the home team get another sniff. As the final horn sounds, the Yellow Jackets are victorious by the score of 6-2.
Auburn falls to 3-6 on the year and the Jackets improve to 4-3. The Tigers are back on the ice to take on Embry-Riddle Eagles at the Columbus Ice Rink next to the Columbus Civic Center on Sunday (10/28) at 9:30 a.m. CT.