Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Hockey: FAU sweeps USF in home opener

With a packed house on Friday, the Owls defeated the Bulls at the 2023 season opener.
Gasner Delvarin, Jr.
The Owls forward Matias Weir (#28) staring down the Bulls during the pre-game national anthem. September 15, 2023.

With over 600 people in attendance, Christian Long, the Florida Atlantic Owls’ new head coach, led the Owls hockey club to their first victory of the season. The Owls swept the University of South Florida Bulls in a two-game series in their home opener. Last season, the Owls finished with a winning record of 21-4. 

Game 1- vs University of South Florida (8:30 PM)

The Florida Atlantic Owls hockey club defeated the University of South Florida (USF) Bulls in the Owls’ first home game of the 2023 season.

FAU’s center Doug  Randle started the game off strong, gaining possession of the puck in the face off, then scoring the first goal within 13 seconds, as forward Matias Weir provided the assist. The Owls hustled on offense with multiple shots at the goal. USF took advantage of their power play, shooting at the goal, missing the first time, but then scoring after the second shot. FAU goalie Gunnar Stevens had two great saves keeping USF from scoring again. The Owls’ forward Caleb Owens had the second goal of night, shooting hard from the right. FAU finished the first period tied 2-2. 

“I was pumped up from the crowd, went out there first shift and potted one, it was electric out there, I’m very excited for the rest of the season and playing in front of these fans again,” said Randle.

As the second period started off, both FAU and USF had players in the penalty box. Thirty seconds in, Weir scored a power play goal. After keeping the pressure on the Bulls defense, Randle took an open shot on the left side. Shortly after, Owens scored the third goal of the period with an assist from defender David Israel. Stevens was able to keep the Owls up by three goals after saving a hard drive left by the Bulls. FAU continued to hustle throughout the period, when forward Leon Biller made his debut with his first goal. With just over two minutes left in the period, Randle scored again with an assist from defensive player Justin Machovina. 

Going into the third period, FAU led 7-4. Within the first two minutes Owens shot his third goal of the night. After hustling back and forth on the ice, forward Myles Davidson scored in the midst of the chaos near the goal. The Owls don’t hesitate to keep pushing for goals, even though they lead 9-4. With three of the Owls in the penalty box, the Bulls still weren’t able to score against the Owls’ defense. With five minutes left in the third and final period,  Israel shots with an assist from Biller, taking the Owls to double digits. The Owls ran down the clock, finishing strong in the third period, bringing the final score 10-4. 

Game 2- vs University of South Florida (5:00 PM) 

The FAU Hockey Club continued their success from Friday night and swept USF in the two game series on Saturday.

The Owls continued to put pressure on the Bulls’ defense in the second game, but the Bulls cleaned up their game from yesterday.

FAU goalie Rocco Bruno, making his collegiate hockey debut, made multiple saves in the first few minutes of the first period.

“Last night, I was nervous for the home opener even though I didn’t play. But today I wasn’t nervous, I was dialed, I was ready, locked in. Just so happy to be out there,” Bruno said.

Despite a slower scoring start for the Owls, forward Emilio Stabile found an opening with just 1:54 remaining in the first period to give the Owls the 1-0 lead. Forward Griffen Bono and defender Machovina both assisted Stabile for his first career goal.

Penalties were given to both FAU’s forward Christian Cotter and USF’s junior defender Owen Welch, but FAU still took advantage with an insurance goal by Weir and assisted by Randle at 12:01.

USF took advantage of their powerplay bringing the lead within 1 with 2:58 left in the second period. With just seconds left, the Bulls fired the puck hitting the crossbar but were unsuccessful in tying the game.

The Owls led 2-1 going into the third.

Just four minutes into the third, Weir found the back of the Bulls’ net from teammate defender Ryan Brockett’s assist for his second goal of the night, giving the Owls some cushion with a 3-1 lead.

“We started the period 2-1 and we wanted to get that extra bounce. [Randle] made a really good play on the half fold to me and I’ve been shooting high on this goalie all day, so I tried to shoot low and it worked,” said Weir. 

The Owls continued to attack the Bulls’ defense adding another goal from Bono. FAU added another goal with about 30 seconds left of the game by Cotter and assisted by forward Nick Pecora.

The final score was 5-1 in favor of the Owls.

FAU plays the University of Tampa Spartans in their next two game series on Friday, September 22 at 8:30 p.m. and Saturday, September 23 at 5:00 p.m. at the Florida Panthers Ice Den.

Christiana Eckard is a contributing writer for the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories, email her at [email protected] or @christianaeck_ on Instagram. 

Gianna Alberti is a staff writer at the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email her at [email protected] or @giannaalbertii on Instagram.

View Comments (1)
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Gianna Alberti, Staff Writer

Comments (1)

Do you have something to say? Submit your comments below
All UNIVERSITY PRESS Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • R

    RobSep 19, 2023 at 12:18 pm

    Great analysis of the teams play and good quotes from the players!!