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Kentucky Kernel

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Kentucky Kernel

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Kentucky hockey suffers conference tournament loss versus Miami (OH)

Travis Fannon
Kentucky defenseman Kyle Burke flips a puck off of his stick during the Kentucky vs. Xavier club hockey game on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023, at the Lexington Ice Center in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 11-1. Photo by Travis Fannon | Staff

Kentucky club hockey suffered a 4-3 overtime loss against the Miami (OH) RedHawks in the second round of the Tri-State Collegiate Hockey League (TSCHL) Tournament on Saturday.

The matchup kicked off with a bang as, just under a minute after play began, each team sent a player to the penalty box.

No. 11 Nate James drew a penalty against the RedHawks but was immediately granted one of his own upon retaliating.

Only 45 seconds into the 4-on-4 play, No. 23 Gabe Rodriguez put Kentucky on the board,  continuing what he’d started in the first round the day before.

Within another minute Tim Burke took his turn in the penalty box and Miami (OH) seized its opportunity to score on the power play.

Still, with over half of the first period left, the same RedHawk from the first penalty returned to the box for Kentucky’s first true power play of the game.

Though the teams alternated evenly between playing defense and offense in the second half of the first period, Kentucky goalkeeper Riley Allen and his Miami (OH) counterpart maintained strict control over their nets.

Kentucky winger Jack Noel controls the puck during the Kentucky vs. Cincinnati club hockey game on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023, at the Lexington Ice Center in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 8-2. Photo by Travis Fannon | Staff (Travis Fannon)

The second period started with similar early scoring, though the broken scoreboard took some time to reflect it.

No. 4 Daniel Quartapella opened it up for the Wildcats, according to the clock, two seconds in.

Not long after the clock changed from being frozen in one moment in time to another, the RedHawks once again evened up the score.

Play was suspended temporarily to allow for the scoreboard to be reset and fixed, allowing the two teams to huddle up and regroup at their respective benches.

The game soon resumed to cheers and stick taps from the Kentucky bench, but the RedHawks didn’t express their enthusiasm similarly, instead choosing to renew their on-ice intensity.

Down to two-minutes-and-six-seconds left in the second period, No. 28 Jack Noel knocked in one more goal for another Kentucky lead.

Not twenty seconds of play later, No. 7 Alex Raketich took a five minute misconduct after a hard hit on the RedHawk player of the same number.

Miami (OH) didn’t take full advantage of the power play until the first minute of the third period when it caught up to the Wildcats’ lead for the third and final time.

The next 19-minutes-and-45-seconds of the third period were spent neck-and-neck as the two teams fought to claim one more point before the clock ran out.

Unfortunately for both sides, run out it did, resulting in a much-anticipated 10 minutes of overtime to determine who would continue on to the third and final round of the tournament.

Much to the disappointment of the Wildcats, Miami (OH) claimed that right – and its first lead of the game – less than a minute in.

The result temporarily ends the Wildcats’ season as they await to hear whether or not they will earn a bid to the National Championship tournament.

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