Hockey facing Penn State as postseason nears



By Char Grimm | @KernellGrimm

[email protected]

UK hockey (9-15-0) takes on Penn State in a pair of contests Friday and Saturday.

The Cats skate into the double-header on the back of two home losses to No. 6 Toledo last weekend while Penn State (15-4-1) is riding a six-game win streak.

The streak was preceded by splitting a pair of home games against Ohio University. UK also split a pair of games with Ohio earlier in the season.

The Ice Lions are led by sophomore forwards Chris Lewis and Franky Reluzco. Lewis boasts the team lead in goals with 13 while Reluzco leads the team in points with 25, one point ahead of Lewis.

This season, the Ice Lions gained experienced players from the previous D1 club team that disbanded before the start of the season, following the formation of an NCAA team at University Park.

“We have to take it 20 minutes at a time,” junior goaltender Aaron Tenfelde said of UK’s strategy for the games.

Cats players say there’s been a high intensity in practice this week as the squad prepares for the Ice Lions.

“You could tell we were practicing hard (Tuesday) because the ice was torn up not even a half an hour into practice,” senior forward Dylan Rohar said.

UK said that although the Cats have beaten the Ice Lions in Lexington in the past, the previous victories mean nothing this season.

“We have to capitalize on every chance we get and shut down all their chances,” Rohar said.

The assistant captain added that Penn State  is ranked No. 5 for a reason.

“Each shift needs to focus. We need to roll four lines,” senior defenseman Brandon Tigrett said of the keys to a Cats victory.

Tenfelde wants the Cats to outshoot Penn State 3-to-1 from his goaltender standpoint, acknowledging that he would need to stand tall in the crease to help his team get the much needed wins as it chases a spot in the postseason.

The Lexington native joked that sharpening his skates will also assist in a Cats victory. “It’ll really help me out a whole lot,” he said.

The puck drops at midnight Friday and Saturday at the Lexington Ice Center. Admission is $7 at the door.