The FGCU D3 squad hosted the University of Central Florida (UCF) on Germain ice the weekend of January 18th and fell just short on the series with a sweep by UCF. These games packed some great fast and physical action for both teams, but FGCU was out played and scored even as they skated rather well.
It should be noted that UCF is ranked #2 currently, as they have not lost a game since October 21, 2012.
Both matches were low scoring competitions and basically came down to the goal tenders success and the capitalization on the power play on the part of UCF. This was a weekend match between (#30) Tyler Toyota for FGCU and (#1) Tony Planamento in net for UCF
The first period ended scoreless on both sides and (#13) Dan Fritz put FGCU on the board first in the second at (6:56) with an assist from (#20) Nick Mucerino. The remainder of the second period brought the bulk of penalty minutes and the majority to FGCU, with numerous roughing and slashing calls as well as a couple for interference on both squads. At least FGCU was able to kill off all power plays and hold the score to their one goal lead, heading into the third and final period.
There was a bit of 'tangling' instances at the UCF net that fueled the rough mood in this game and lead to words being tossed back and forth between squads leaving the ice, especially with our goal minder and some UCF players. The hunger was present for both teams to come back to finish out this game no question.
FGCU was only out shot in the first period at (11-4), the remainder of the game the shots remained about even throughout.
The final period on Friday evening belonged to UCF, as they sank two pucks to take the lead at 2-1 at (14:30) and (4:10). FGCU also was serving the only penalties in this period to give UCF some golden power play opportunities to win this very game. Our squad lost their wind a bit in the final period as well and if you are pulling from reserve power to skate, and playing a choppy style to passing and setting up plays, the outcome can be just as it was in this match.
Saturday would tell the ending to this match up as they faced each other one more round.
Saturday night, a very similar tone was set on Germain ice with these teams squaring up to complete this series. UCF struck first in this match, sinking one past (#30) Tyler Toyota of FGCU at (17:43) in the first. FGCU did answer though with a goal smacked home by (#19) Paul Moneuse at (15:42) to tie it up heading into the second period. Penalties were held to two per squad, as well.
The second period belonged to UCF on the scoring end and got rather heated between squads, as UCF sank four more goals to take a 5-1 lead over FGCU and net minder, Tyler Toyota of FGCU was handed a five minute penalty initially for roughing and then, also with a ten minute game misconduct. The frustration was boiling to the surface on the ice and unfortunately, for FGCU their guest maintained their lead through out the chaos.
Even in the third period with the only two penalties handed to UCF, we were not able to capitalize and sink a few goals. FGCU did out shoot their opponent in every period but the last; however, Tony Planamento was able to seal that net for UCF to head home with a sweep of their visit to Germain Arena. What is more crucial though is the fact that we racked 35 penalty minutes to UCF's 21 in the box and this is where a game and a series can turn.
The FGCU Eagles D3 squad face the University of Miami on the January 25th and 26th at home on German ice for an afternoon matinee match. As our D2 squad prepares to host the University of Connecticut as well all weekend next week.
**The slideshow uploader is currently not functioning, so please enjoy the video montage of FGCU hockey images that accompany this piece. Images will post as soon as the technical difficulties are worked out. Thank you.