Colonels and Cats face off at Lexington Ice Center



By Char Grimm | @KernelGrimm

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UK hockey returns to the ice Friday and Saturday nights to face the Eastern Kentucky Colonels in their final two games of the fall semester.

After falling twice to Bowling Green last weekend, the Cats are now 7-13-0 on the season. EKU will enter the game searching for its first win. The Colonels are 0-8-1.

It hasn’t been for lack of effort that the Colonels haven’t gotten a win this season. Several times, five minutes without hustle has cost the Colonels the game. This includes a game against Cincinnati in which the Colonels were tied with the Bearcats at two apiece heading into the third period. Cincinnati eventually won the game 5-2.

Although EKU is still searching for that first win, the Cats are not going to take it lightly.

“We’ve been surprised by teams before. We aren’t going to take them for granted,” said senior assistant captain Dylan Rohar.

Junior goaltender Aaron Tenfelde agreed, stating, “We’re going to need to work to make the wins happen.”

The last meetings between the two rivals occurred two years ago. UK won both games by a large margin. What most remember, however, is the vast number of penalty minutes that occurred between the two teams. The Cats are hoping for a cleaner game this time around.

“Fighting gets us nothing except suspended during a game in the spring semester,” Tenfelde said.

ACHA rules dictate that fighting is not allowed. Should players decide to fight, each player earns an ejection from the current game as well as a suspension the following game.

If the game becomes rough, senior forward Brandon Tigrett hopes the Cats will be able to skate away from potential scuffles.

“We can’t afford to lose anyone to injury like we did last year with Danny Graham. It’s not worth it,” he said. Graham was injured in an altercation with a Louisville player during the Oct. 28, 2011, game.

Tenfelde hopes that the Cats’ speed and puck movement will help keep them out of sticky situations.

“(If a situation like that arises) I’ll tell my guys to say nothing and skate away,” he said.

However, the Cats are prepared for the possibility of a rough game.

“We just have to keep our heads up and watch each other’s backs,” said Rohar of how he expects the team to react if they manage to keep their cool should the game become rougher.

Although UK will be the away team Friday night, both games will be played at the Lexington Ice Center. Admission will be $7 each night, with the puck dropping at midnight.