Cool Cats set to take on rival Louisville

By Char Grimm

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UK hockey faces off against the University of Louisville in a home-and-home series this weekend. The Cats play at home Friday before travelling to Louisville on Saturday.

“We’re excited to represent the blue and white in the Battle of the Bluegrass,” UK junior defenseman Jacob Cohen said.

The Cats (0-2-0) fell in two games last weekend to Indiana University. The Cardinals were swept by Holy Cross College before sweeping future UK opponent, the University of Akron last weekend by scores of 6-4 and 7-2.

Louisville (2-2-0) was led by freshman forward Derek Piekarczyk and his one goal and three assists versus Akron. Junior forward John Hensley and freshman defenseman David Bechard lead the team in goals with two apiece last weekend against the Zips. Hensley also led the team in 12 penalty minutes.

Last year, the series between the Cats and Cards became physical, with several ejections due to fighting on both sides. In the American Collegiate Hockey Association, fighting is cause for an ejection from the current game as well as a suspension for the following game.

This year, the Cats are hoping to avoid that level of physicality.

“We just need to play our game and not get caught up in the physical aspect of it,” senior forward Jake Boss said.

In their previous games this season, UK has had an problem with a slow start, particularly on the road. The Cats traveled to Indiana this past weekend and trailed 6-1 at the end of the second period.

Senior forward Hunter McFadden said they can not afford to do that again going forward, especially against the rival Cardinals.

“We’re having some extra off ice training to get the stamina up and taking quick shifts to keep fresh legs out there during the game,”  McFadden said.

Cohen agreed: “We’re ready to play some good old hockey,” he said

The puck drops at 11:55 p.m. at the Lexington Ice Center on Friday. Admission is $7 at the arena.

The Cats will travel to Louisville’s Iceland Sports Complex to face the Cardinals in game two of the series on Saturday. The puck will drop at 8 p.m. Admission is $5 at the arena.