Tigers christen Columbus Civic Center, defeat Ice Vols 3-1

Updated: Oct 25, 2021

Image via Justin Peart, Auburn Hockey

In Auburn’s home season opener, the first in a new arena, the Tigers defeated the visiting University of Tennessee Ice Vols 3-1.

Forward Noah Henry scored two goals for Auburn, and Henry Lange finished off the visitors with an open net score.

Henry leads Auburn in scoring through the team’s first four games with five goals.

“The boys were playing unreal tonight,” Henry said. “We figured out how to get the puck in the offensive zone and pin them down there all night. They couldn’t really get out and make plays.”

And pin Tennessee back they did. For most of the night, Auburn had opportunity after opportunity in the offensive zone, peppering Tennessee with close up shots around the goalie.

Henry’s first goal came early in the first period, when he took the puck and lifted it right over the outstretched arms of the visiting goaltender. A raucous Tiger fanbase erupted in cheers as Auburn took an early lead.

Tennessee answered with a goal of their own. A quick cross-crease pass from Nicholas Carmine was slammed home to tie the game by Ice Vols captain Drew King. Auburn netminder Cam Denk would not allow another goal to the visitors for the remainder of the night.

Denk faced plenty of shots from the Ice Vols as the game went on, but the sophomore goalie was steady in the box, blanking the visitors for two and a half periods. On the night, Denk stopped 17 of 18 shots, including three shots from the Tennessee power play.

“They had a long drive here today, and tomorrow they are going to be well rested,” Denk said. “They are going to be coming with a lot of heat tomorrow, too. We gotta be ready and be on our toes.”

Denk has been a solid presence in the net for Auburn. Over the team’s first three games, Denk allowed eight goals combined, but five of those opposing tallies came in just one game against the ERAU Eagles.

While Denk and Henry may get the stat sheet glory, it was an all-around effort by Auburn to see the team to victory. Against a more experienced Tennessee roster, Auburn was able to control the puck and eventually the entire game.

“It’s a big statement win,” said assistant captain Brandon Weis. “Tennessee has beaten some notable teams. This was really the litmus test for us. Tennessee has been at the top of the SECHC, so it feels good to beat them. We are really excited. This is a big program win.”

Auburn will return to the Columbus Civic Center to face Tennessee again on Saturday. Puck drop is set for noon eastern time. When Auburn faces the Ice Vols again, Henry wants another big win.

“We gotta keep rolling and carry the sweep into tomorrow,” Henry said.