Cool Cats claim victory over Cincinnati, 10-7

By Patrick Thompson

Coming off a tough road weekend at the ACHA Division 2 Showcase, the Cool Cats rebounded with a 10-7 win over Cincinnati Friday night.

The night was filled with emotion and excitement as former teammate and captain Taylor Vit’s memory was honored with a moment of silence and a round of applause.

A surprise guest was also on hand to make an appearance, as former UK basketball player DeMarcus Cousins wobbled his way slowly onto the ice to drop the ceremonial puck shortly after Big Blue Madness.

The first period saw both teams coming out of the gate strong, with both goalies being peppered with shots. UK’s physical presence was consistent, as the team was able to wear down Cincinnati’s breakout in its defensive zone.

UK opened up the first period with a goal by senior captain Billy Glass. The score was tied for much of the period until sophomore defensiveman Jeremy Schmidt scored back-to-back shorthanded goals to bring the period to an end with UK leading 3-1.

UK was quick to start the second period strong, scoring two more back-to-back goals by junior forward Brandon Tigrett and senior forward Danny Graham just over four minutes in.

The physical play in the period resulted in many penalties by both teams, but UK was able to capitalize on power play opportunities and Cincinnati turnovers in the offensive zone.

The second period was capped off with a save by junior goaltender Matt Bougie as Cincinnati came down the ice on a two-on-one. Bougie was able to stretch his body out to make the save off of the quick pass and shot.

Senior assistant captain Michael Getz and freshman forward Charlie Hales tacked on two more goals to pull away from the Bearcats with a 7-2 lead heading into the third period.

UK let its guard down in the third period, committing penalties that left the team shorthanded for much of the time. This allowed Cincinnati to come back into the game, scoring four unanswered goals to cut the UK lead to one.

“We came out and played a good game, but collapsed a lot in the third,” said Glass, the senior captain. “Penalties are something we’re definitely going to have to cut back on when we play better teams.”

After this series of Bearcat goals, UK was again able to pull the offense together and score three more goals, two by junior forward Dylan Rohar and the other by senior forward Sean Wittman.

“It wasn’t our best effort, we had a bunch of penalties and kids losing their heads in the third period,” senior assistant captain Sean McLaughlin said. “It’s all about discipline. When you’re beating a team that bad there’s no need to be getting mixed in with all the shenanigans that happen after the whistles.”

UK was able to pull out of another close game with Cincinnati on Saturday, winning 6-5 in a shootout.

UK will play next at midnight on Friday (technically Saturday morning) against Ohio State University at the Lexington Ice Center.