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


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


Hockey: Owls remain victorious, sweeping Knights after Battle of the Beach

After defeating the Knights 5-2 on Nov. 4 at the Battle of the Beach Championship, the Owls completed the overall sweep.
Aubrey Corkum | FAU Hockey Club
FAU forward Caleb Owens (#8) looking for a teammate to pass the puck to during the Owls’ 5-4 victory on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023 at the Florida Panthers Ice Den against the UCF Knights. The Owls swept the Knights in a two-game series after defeating them in the Battle of the Beach Championship two weeks prior.

Following their 5-2 victory over the University of Central Florida (UCF) Knights (5-6-1) in the Battle of the Beach Championship on Saturday, Nov. 4, the Florida Atlantic Owls (10-1-1) completed the sweep two weeks later. The game’s energy was ecstatic as over 800 people attended to watch the Owls beat the Knights for a second time. 

“Being able to play and beat UCF is rewarding for the whole team. UCF put up a good fight. It was a fun game to play,” said FAU goalie Rocco Bruno after beating UCF for the third time this season.

Game 1 – vs. University of Central Florida (8:30 PM)

The Owls started strong, winning the puck drop. Less than a minute into the first period, the Owls got their first powerplay of the night. FAU’s offense was hustling, keeping the puck on UCF’s side of the ice. 

The Knights came out playing a little conservative, which was short-lived when the pressure to score increased. Bruno kept the puck out of the net, showcasing the speed and deliverance that gave him the nickname “The Deli Man.” 

“It’s because I’m Italian. I make charcuterie boards once a week,” Bruno said on his nickname.

Despite the multiple shots, the Owls couldn’t capitalize on their opportunities in the first period, ending 0-0.  

“It’s just pure confidence. Being a goalie is 90% mental. You can’t let anything get into your head. I try to keep my focus in the game,” said Rocco Bruno.

During the second period, the Owls traded possession of the puck with the Knights. FAU kept the pressure in the zones. Five minutes into the second period, FAU forward Justin Machovina made a crucial save, keeping the puck on UCF’s defense. 

Both teams fought hard over the puck, the Knights having multiple slapshots but couldn’t convert. UCF had a power play, and as FAU forward David Israel came out of the box, he went after the puck. The period remained scoreless heading into intermission. 

Eight minutes into the third period, Israel came out and found the back of the net, scoring from shallow left. The goal was assisted by forward Daniel Tobv. 

The point allowed FAU to gain momentum, hustling to try and score again. With only six minutes left in the final period, FAU forward Leon Biller scored a security point, which kept the Owls ahead, even if the Knights scored. Shortly after, FAU forward Sam Watson scored again, crushing any hope the Knights had. 

The Owls defeated the Knights for the second straight time, 3-0.

Game 2 – vs. University of Central Florida (5:00 PM)

After Friday night’s win, the Owls returned to the ice to face the Knights for the third time. FAU won the puck drop and immediately went on the offensive. At 18:03, forward Matias Weir scored during a breakaway, putting the Owls ahead by one. 

UCF had the first powerplay of the night due to Machovina’s penalty once again. Even with the advantage, the Knights couldn’t convert and capitalize. With just over 10 minutes left in the game, the Knights caught the Owls’ goalie Gunnar Stevens off guard, shooting and scoring high into the net. 

The Owls hustled, keeping the puck on the Knights’ side of the ice. Biller scored shortly after with a shallow chip-in, putting the Owls back in the lead, 2-1. With five minutes left in the period, forward Jake Friedman scored a security point, putting FAU up by two. 

Forward Caleb Owens attempted to shoot and score but lodged himself into the net instead. The Owls couldn’t be stopped, even against a surprising Knights defense. 

With 43 seconds remaining in the period, Friedman had a nice slapshot, scoring his second goal of the night, ending the period 4-1. 

The second period they started off strong with FAU keeping UCF from scoring. With the three-point lead the Owls held, they played conservatively in the second period. It shortly backfired when the Knights scored two points back-to-back, making the score 4-3. 

With two seconds remaining in the period, Tobv made a crucial shot and scored his first goal of the season, putting the Owls up by two. 

“I’ve only ever had assists. It felt good to get a goal and get it off my shoulders. It was rewarding,” said  Daniel Tobv.

FAU and UCF continued to battle for the puck, sending it back and forth on the ice. The Knights managed to capitalize on the opportunity to shoot and score, trailing behind the Owls. The Owls picked up the pace as tensions increased to make a play and score.

The last minute of the period had everyone on their seats as the Knights fought to try and score one more point. The Owls’ defense controlled the puck, keeping the Knights from getting another goal, ending the game 5-4. 

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

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