LAKELAND, Fla. – Florida Southern College officially opened a new chapter in its illustrious history of athletics when its new men's ice hockey team took the ice for its first two games of the 2019-20 season over the weekend.
A home-and-home series with South Florida kicked things off as the Moccasins traveled to USF on Friday night before playing their first home contest on Saturday afternoon before a raucous crowd.
Nearly 800 fans, including well over 400 students, packed Lakeland Ice Arena to the rafters in the rink's first collegiate contest. Florida Southern College President Dr. Anne B. Kerr, accompanied by Director of Athletics, Drew Howard and, and longtime FSC supporter Wesley Barnett, dropped the ceremonial first puck on the inaugural home season.
"It was a great first weekend for Florida Southern ice hockey," Howard said. "We appreciate the support from all the students, faculty, staff and fans who were at the game this past weekend and we look forward to the continuous support of our fans for the rest of the season."
The Bulls struck first as Georgiy Tysganok scored off an assist from Alex McCoy late in the first period. This goal proved to be the only one that Moccasin goalie Logan Cody let by in the game as he recorded 37 saves during the contest, including a game-high 18 saves in the first period.
The Mocs' front line turned it on in the second period, putting in a game-high 11 shots on goal, but USF goalie Garrett Trotman managed to contain the onslaught, not allowing any to find the back of the net.
The third period saw an even matchup between the two teams, as they split possession almost evenly, not allowing either team the advantage. Southern tried to turn it on late, but was unable to throw off USF enough to find the back of the net.
"It was an incredible atmosphere," said Moccasin head coach Gilles Richard. "What an awesome, awesome first home game. It was a phenomenal day and we are so excited for the rest of the season.
In the program's first game, the Mocs fell to the Bulls 4-3 on Friday in Wesley Chapel, Fla. Jake Comisar scored the program's first ever goal before Pauls Kurzemnieks and Maxwell Tielbur netted one each for Southern.
Florida Southern returns to the ice on Friday, Oct. 4 when it takes on the University of Florida at 9 p.m. at Lakeland Ice Arena.