By Char Grimm
UK hockey (9-17-0) fell in both contests to No. 2 Penn State this weekend. The Cats lost 9-0 on Friday and 5-4 on Saturday.
“I thought we played a fairly consistent 60 minutes,” junior goaltender Aaron Tenfelde said of Friday’s game.
Penn State managed to put two pucks behind Tenfelde in the first, creating a 2-0 lead for the Ice Lions. By the end of the second, they would be up 5-0, before scoring four more goals in the third, creating the 9-0 lead, and earning senior goaltender Kevin Lowthert the shutout victory.
Saturday night, UK came out more aggressive than the night before, getting several early shots on senior goaltender Ryan Demuth. The Cats would exit the first with a lead of 2-1.
The first shot of the second period by senior forward Michael Broccolo went behind Tenfelde. tying the score at 2-2.
Junior Matt Hudzinski would earn his first goal in a UK jersey to recapture the Cats’ lead, 3-2. He said the feeling of scoring his first goal was unbelievable.
“When that puck crosses the line, hearing the crowd cheer and knowing that it’s all for you is an incredible feeling. Much different than when you’re sitting on the bench,” he said.
Junior defenseman Jeremy Schmidt would make a pass that would be intercepted by sophomore forward Chris Lewis right in front of the Cats’ net. Lewis capitalized creating the 3-3 score.
A short time later, freshman forward Taylor Vincent would earn his second goal of the night, creating a 4-3 Ice Lions lead that the team never relinquished.
Brandon Russo fired a shorthanded shot which would send a rebound right to Lewis. The second period ended with a 5-3 Ice Lions lead.
With under six minutes played in the third, senior Matt McLaughlin scored the Cats’ fourth and final goal of the night, falling short of the comeback.
“I’ve never been so happy after a loss. It’s a moral victory,” Tenfelde said, adding that he generally hates moral victories. “I’m not really a kumbaya hockey player.”
The Cats are back next weekend at home to face No. 4 Lindenwood on Friday and Saturday.