SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Opening night of the 2020 Savannah Hockey Classic did not disappoint as fans saw a thrilling comeback victory and a physical battle between two old rivals.
FLORIDA STATE 6, GEORGIA TECH 5 (F/2OT)
Florida State believed they had a choice when they walked into the locker room for the second intermission trailing Georgia Tech 5-2.
“The next time we’re in this locker room, we can either be sad or we can be fired up,” remembers junior forward Mason Coletta. “That’s going to start with getting the first one.”
The Seminoles did, and they weren’t done.
Florida State, once down 5-1 late in the second, scored three unanswered goals in the third period to force overtime. After a scoreless first extra period, Coletta netted the game-winner off a breakaway with 2:47 remaining.
“In all my years of hockey, I’ve scored some big time goals. But I’ve never scored an OT winner,” Coletta says. “To score this one, in front of all the fans, in front of my mom and dad who are here, it just felt great.”
The Jackets entered Friday’s game as the defending Thrasher Cup champs and played like it early on. Tech led 3-0 after the first period and seemed to have the game on ice 40 minutes in.
But the Noles would not die. Game MVP Coletta says the team simply didn’t want to lose a game this important.
“Down 5-1, in their state, in Savannah. This is our biggest tournament of the year, We play for this all season,” Coletta says. “We just knew we had to come out flying [in the third]. We didn’t want to be disappointed. We want to win it all this year.”
The Seminoles now have that chance if they can beat Sunshine State rival Florida in Saturday’s opener.
GEORGIA 6, FLORIDA 2
Georgia and Florida closed out the evening with a physical affair perfectly suited for this deep of a rivalry.
Chris Keresztes scored two goals for the Dawgs, who scored three second period goals to take a 4-1 lead to second intermission. From there, Georgia cruised to a 6-2 win.
It sets up the Dawgs for a chance at their third Thrasher Cup in four years. For the Gators, John Hunt and Parker Mara provided the goals.
Georgia can claim the Savannah Hockey Class championship with a win over Georgia Tech Saturday night.
WHAT’S ON TAP
Florida State vs, Florida- 5:30 p.m.
Georgia vs. Georgia Tech- 8:30 p.m.