UK hockey season begins Friday with clash against Indiana

By Char Grimm

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UK hockey opens its season this weekend with two matches against Indiana, first on the road on Friday and at home on Saturday.

UK lost eight seniors following the 2013-2014 season, but has added nine new players to the roster to replace them this season.

“We’re excited. The new guys are fast and good players. We can’t wait to get them out onto the ice in a game,” senior forward Charlie Hales said.

The Hoosiers also lost seven seniors following last season. They did retain goaltenders James Rosen and Jordan Riezen who are now a sophomore and junior, respectively. Both Rosen and Riezen posted wins over the Cats last season.

“Their goaltenders tend to leave rebounds, so we will be keeping that in mind for our game plan,” said senior defenseman Jacob Cohen.

UK has struggled against Indiana previously. The Cats fell to the Hoosiers 3-2 and 7-2 in September last season before falling once again in February by scores of 11-7 and 11-2.

“It’s been a good five years since we’ve beaten (Indiana). We’re due for the win,” Hales said.

While UK has added eight rookies, the team retained some of their leading goal scorers in Hales and senior forward Corey Kopach. Hales, along with senior Hunter McFadden, also lead the team in points last season.

The Cats also retained sophomore standout goaltender Tucker Boyle this season.

“Overall, we have a good mix of experience and younger guys. These first games will be a great test for everyone,” said senior forward Andrew Baron.

In previous seasons, Indiana has competed for division one of the ACHA (American Collegiate Hockey Association) but this season they will be competing in the same division as UK, division two.

UK is looking forward to the season and the opener against the Hoosiers.

“We’re hungry (for the win),” Cohen said.