The Vanderbilt Commodores dropped their home-opening series against Ole Miss. Vandy welcomed the Rebels to A-Game Sportsplex on Friday night and the Rebels’ Blake Gray took advantage of that hospitality. The junior forward scored the first of his four weekend goals at 13:56 in the first period.
The Dores answered with a goal of their own just thirty seconds later by sophomore Matthew Neurohr. Freshmen forwards John Longman and Stephen Wei added the other two first period goals before Ole Miss Cut the lead to one.
The Rebels added two goals before junior Zachary Karlinski and senior Anthony Bilotta scored in the second period. Ole Miss added another goal to tie the game with just 2:32 left in the period.
It only took ten seconds for the Rebels to break the tie in the third period. Ole Miss would add four more goals in the third. Vandy freshman defensemen Zach Satin added a goal at 11:12 in the third, but it proved to be too little.
Ole Miss defeated Vandy 9-6 with four power play goals.
Vandy Head Coach Thomas Bernstein talks with the team before Friday’s second period action.
Vandy jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in Saturday’s game with a power play goal of their own from sophomore forward Jack Gibbons. The Rebels answered less than five minutes later. The period ended with Vandy and Ole Miss tied, 1-1.
Ole Miss would let two 10 minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalties effect their play in the second. Gray scored his fourth goal of the weekend at 17:52. Gibbons scored his second power play goal and Vandy’s final goal of the game at 15:49. The Rebels added two more goals to take a 4-2 lead into the third.
The Rebels added one more goal at 14:37 in the third and took the 5-2 win.
Vandy and the Rebels matched up well during even strength play, but Ole Miss capitalized on Vanderbilt’s penalties during both games. Vandy’s captain, Anthony Bilotta, spoke with PBR’s Big Ben during the second intermission of Saturday’s tilt and had this to say about staying out of the sin bin. “We just got to stay out of the penalty box. Penalties are really killing us. They killed us last night. I believe that two of the goals right now are power play goals.”
Bilotta was very positive on the outlook of the team. “I think we can build a little more team chemistry, but that’ll come in time. It’s only the fourth game of the year. Give us a couple more weeks and I think we’ll be cooking out there.”
Upcoming Weekend Series
Vanderbilt will welcome Indiana University to A-Game Sportsplex this weekend. IU will be playing their first games of the season against Vandy. Puck drop for Friday night’s game is 8:30. Saturday afternoon’s game will also be at A-Game and will start at 3:00.