Cool Cats sweep Indiana University of Pennsylvania

By Char Grimm

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UK hockey (3-3-0) swept Indiana University of Pennsylvania (0-3-0) in a pair of games at the Lexington Ice Center this weekend.

The Cats prevailed over the Crimson Hawks by scores of 3-2 on Friday and 2-1 on Saturday.

IUP jumped out to an early 1-0 lead from a faceoff shot to senior goaltender Aaron Tenfelde’s right, less than three minutes into Friday’s game.

“Everyone on the ice had a brain fart … There’s no other word for it. None of us were ready for that faceoff,” Tenfelde said.

The Crimson Hawks exited the first period holding on to their 1-0 lead.

Physical play would dominate the first game, with hard and heavy hits coming from both teams. IUP junior goaltender Corey Chapin led the Crimson Hawks throughout the game, giving up very few rebounds on UK shots.

“We ran into a hot goalie. I’ve also never seen a team block more shots,” Tenfelde said.

IUP jumped out to a 2-0 lead halfway through the second period, but with less than five minutes to play in the period, UK senior forward Hunter McFadden fired a shot past Chapin for UK’s first goal. Less than three minutes later, UK senior forward Ryan Thomas netted his own goal to draw UK level before the final period.

With 6:17 to play in the game, McFadden earned his second goal of the night to give UK the 3-2 lead and the victory.

“We played about 58 minutes that game. Still looking for a full 60,” Tenfelde said. “This is one of the first games we came out and did what we wanted to do.”

With 5:30 to play in the first period Saturday, IUP junior forward Josh Jones scored in a two-on-one situation to give the Crimson Hawks the lead. Junior goaltender Dante Koeppen took goal for IUP Saturday, as UK hit the post six times during the first period.

The first period ended with UK down a goal, despite outshooting the Crimson Hawks, 21-9.

With 7:10 to play in the second period, UK senior defenseman Jeremy Schmidt found the back of the net to tie the game on a powerplay opportunity after IUP freshman Jesse Hoak ended up in the box.

The score was tied at the end of the second period.

Schmidt scored the game winner for the Cats toward the end of the third period, completing UK’s sweep of IUP with a final score of 2-1 in the second game.

“It was a big confidence boost to finally put two games together in a row,” said junior defenseman Gray McLaughlin.

The Cats travel to Kalamazoo, Mich. next weekend for the ACHA (American Collegiate Hockey Association) Division Two Showcase.

UK will face Northern Michigan University on Friday, Robert Morris University on Saturday and Ferris State University on Sunday.

Schmidt said his team is ready for the Showcase.

“Our game plan is simple,” he said. “Pass, shoot and score.”