Inside The ACHA

Georgia’s 1-0 Win Over GT Makes For A Classic ‘Rumble’
From Staff Reports and Savannah Now

The University of Georgia’s Andrew Wiese had a hard time recalling a goal that no one in attendance at the Savannah Civic Center Jan. 13 will likely forget.

The goal, with just 2:22 remaining, couldn’t have been more memorable in an action-packed game that became an instant classic in the Memorial Health Hockey Classic, a nine-year-old staple of collegiate hockey in the South. It also catapulted the Bulldogs to an improbable 1-0 victory over Georgia Tech in what is also known as the "Rumble in the Rink."

A sold-out Savannah Civic Center crowd of about 5,000, the majority wearing UGA red, saw the Bulldogs (4 wins, eight losses) earn their fourth straight Thrashers Cup.

The Georgia mascot, UGA VI, made a rowdy pre-game appearance on the ice, and the Tech Pep Band played in force to rally the smaller contingent of Tech fans.

Georgia goalie Harry Kierbow had 34 saves against Georgia Tech earning the 1-0 shutout and was named the two-day tournament’s most valuable player. (Photo courtesy Jim Doeden)

"This week we were treated like pros and we really appreciated it," said UGA goalie Harry Kierbow, who was named the two-day tournament’s most valuable player. (Georgia beat Florida and Georgia Tech stopped Florida State on opening night.)

Tech (11-5) controlled all three zones and play along the boards most of the night. The action was hard-hitting and the playmaking spectacular. Kierbow was solid, stopping 34 Yellow Jackets shots for his first shutout of the season.

Georgia got the game’s only goal with just a little more than two minutes remaining in regulation. A Bulldog rush up ice led to a shot that was stopped by Craig Tabita, Tech’s first-year goalie. Brian Habermehl corralled the rebound, but his shot was blocked and caromed off the back of a Tech defender onto Wiese’s stick.

"It was such a blur, it’s tough to remember," said Wiese, a product of Atlanta’s youth and high school programs. "(The puck) squeaked out, and I just happened to poke it home.

The Bulldogs came out playing an overly aggressive game. Georgia was whistled for five penalties in the opening period. Robert Manlove was hit for a five-minute major for elbowing and Drew Klipp was hit with a two-minute penalty for hooking that gave the Jackets a two-man power-play during the final 3:14.

Tech managed six shots, but couldn’t beat Kierbow. Georgia didn’t have a shot until the eight-minute mark of the game, and was out-shot 13-3 in the first period.
Georgia’s best scoring chance in the opening stanza came while short-handed, on a two-on-one rush into the Jackets’ zone. Tabita sprawled to make one of his 23 saves.

Austin Kasse had the best scoring chance for the Yellow Jackets 13 minutes in, but his long slap shot clanged off the post.

In the second period, UGA had a two-man advantage when Tech’s Josh Krisinger was called for roughing. In the ensuing scrum, Kasse was slapped with a five-minute major. But the Bulldogs couldn’t convert their five-on-three power play.

In the third period, Tech regained the momentum. Again, the Bulldogs relied on Kierbow, who snagged a backhander off the stick of Dan Sweeney to force a face-off with 7:02 remaining.

Less than five minutes later, Georgia was celebrating Wiese’s goal.
The Jackets pulled Tabita with 50 seconds on the clock and peppered the net with four shots. The Georgia defense blocked a couple others, including a shot off the final face-off with two seconds to play.

Ice Shavings

• Brian Habermehl and Michael Gableman picked up assists on Weise’s goal.

• In addition to Kierbow, the all-tournament team included Wiese, Georgia defensemen Robert Manlove and Arnie Krogh, Tech’s Tabita, Florida State forward Howie Stoughton and Florida forward Anthony Sconzo.

• Next year’s 10th anniversary tournament may feature an opening game between rivals South Carolina and Clemson.

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