Gamecocks Hockey Tops Rival Clemson In Overtime

The Gamecocks looked to close out the regular season on a high note, as their fiercest rivals came to town on senior night.

The crowd at the Irmo Iceplex was raucous and rowdy, and it was clear early on the intensity would be high.

But before anyone could settle into their seat, Thomas Samuelse scored his first goal of the year to put Clemson on the board less than two minutes into the game.

This would set the stage for a back-and-forth battle that would leave the crowd dizzy. Just four minutes later Michael Bolger would set up Julian Reiss on the low slot for a tap in goal to tie the score and to give Reiss the single-season goal scoring record at South Carolina.

The Gamecocks weren’t done however, as goals by Cameron Mecca and Tyler Oakley would close out a fast and furious first period.

The second period was just as wild, however, as four goals were scored in the span of 5:35, three by Clemson and one by the Gamecocks, making the score at the end of the second period, 4-3 USC.

The nervous crowd at the Iceplex was given some much-needed breathing room after insurance goals by Julian Reiss (hat-trick), but Clemson kept clawing back, closing the lead to 6-5 late in the third.

The Gamecocks were bending and finally broke when Thomas Samuelse scored on a wrap-around tie to the game at six.\

The paced picked up as the game seemingly turned into sudden death.

A frantic moment in the Carolina defensive zone when an Alex Schreiber shot deflected off the skate of Gamecock defenseman Ryan McGowan’s skate and rolled passed Goalie Liam Gormley.

However, as the puck trickled towards the goal line, Captain Cam Mecca swept the puck away from danger with 27 seconds to go to force overtime.

In the extra period, the Gamecocks took over and dominated their in-state foes.

Just a minute and a half into overtime, Luke Rudman swatted a rebound out of mid-air past Clemson goalie Michael Badger to win the game for South Carolina 7-6 in overtime.

Three Stars 

  1. Julian Reiss 

  2. Cam Mecca

  3. Luke Rudman

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