The weekend after spring break in Texas, the Virginia Tech Hokies captured three wins in three days, only one of which was at home. The first night saw a confident 12-3 win over South Carolina, followed by a 10-7 win against the UCF Knights and was wrapped up with a 7-5 win at home over Buffalo.
Virginia Tech 14, Pittsburgh 6
The Hokies came into Friday’s contest against the Pittsburgh Panthers with a record of 7-0, ranked 10th in the MCLA National Poll. The previous weekend the Hokies gutted out three victories against South Carolina, Central Florida, and Buffalo in three days.
This contest against Pittsburgh would be the Hokies last out of conference game before they get into the bulk of their SELC schedule. The Hokies knew it was important to come out of the gate fast, and jump on the Panthers early.
The Hokies came out firing and took a 2-0 lead early with goals from Alex Clough and Kyle Mancini. The two teams traded goals throughout the rest of the first quarter and the Hokies held the lead 4-2 at the end of the first.
Pittsburgh scored the first goal of the second quarter to cut the lead to 4-3 but then the Hokies just completely took over. Timmy Nordbrook and Alex Clough sparked the Hokies offense to a dominating second quarter rallying off a 5-1 run to go into the half with a 9-4 lead over the Panthers.
One reason the Panthers could not get any sort of life in this game was the utter dominance of face-off man Bogdan Dragacevac. Dragacevac ended the game winning 20 of 22 face-offs, continually allowing the Hokie offense to keep on rolling.
The second half was more of the same for the Hokies with solid offensive play. The defense also stiffened in the second half, only allowing two goals and shutting the door on the Panthers’ offensive threats.
Jack Keller provided a lift for the Hokies, scoring two goals in the third quarter to keep the momentum in their favor.
The Hokies cruised to a 14-6 victory to improve their record to 8-0. Alex Clough was the main catalyst of the Hokie offense in this game recording 4 goals and 3 assists.
The Hokies would have short time to rest before their Saturday game against SELC Northwest division rival George Washington.
Virginia Tech 10, George Washington 1
Saturday’s matchup against George Washington was a must-win game for the Hokies as it was their first SELC Northwest division matchup.
The game was played at Woodrow Wilson high school in Washington D.C. and many of the Hokies were determined to look good for a lot of their families and friends.
This was certainly not a pretty performance for Virginia Tech, but in the end, they got the result they wanted: a convincing win. The Hokie offense came out of the gate very slow, only scoring one goal in the first. The Colonials answered with a fortunate rebound goal on man-up to knot the score at 1-1 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter was a little bit better for the Hokies, as they realized they must pick up the play. Timmy Nordbrook got the offense going with a pair of assists in the second quarter; one to Jack Keller on the left wing, and one to Ryan Palompo on the crease. The Hokies were able to extend their lead to 4-1 at half, as the defense stood strong.
The second half was more of the same. Jack Keller notched the first two goals of the third quarter to complete his hat trick and give the Hokies a 6-1 lead.
Face-off man Bodgan Dragacevac also continued his dominant play. He simply did not allow the Colonials to get the ball, going 13-14 from the face-off X. In the last three Hokie lax victories Dragacevac has won 42 of 50 face-offs, clearly a key to the Hokies continued success.
The Hokies were able to put in 4 more goals and shut the door on the Colonials to win the game 10-1. Captain defenseman Brett Gallahan also got on the board for the first time this season with a great bounce shot to the top corner.
Jack Keller had 3 goals and 1 assist to lead the Hokie offense, while Timmy Nordbrook showed his great facilitating ability recording 4 assists in the win over the Colonials.
Goalie Bryan Cooper made 7 saves in the Hokie victory, being one unlucky bounce from a shutout.
Next up for the Hokies is another must-win game against division rival Tennessee on Thursday night in Blacksburg. Tennessee gave #15 Liberty all they could handle before falling 14-10 so the Hokies now they have to bring their best product to their home field.
The Hokies also have to avoid looking ahead to the highly anticipated match-up with #12 Florida State who has been rolling through opponents, including a win against #8 Colorado State and a very impressive performance against #3 Colorado.
The Hokies now stand at 9-0 and hope to climb the polls with 2 more convincing victories.