The University of Kentucky Hockey team defeated Xavier University 5-3 this past Friday, in a significant win. The energy of the crowd was electric as the Cats took the ice, the yells and chants from the heavy student turnout echoing around the Lexington ice center. As the UK hockey team finds themselves deeper in the season, the crowds have continually become more wild, more crazy, and more invested in the team’s success.
The crowd of students welcomed Xavier by shouting “SUCKS” after each team member’s introduction. They stood, loudly and proudly, until the early hours of the morning, with a common goal in mind: Victory for the Wildcats. The noise simmered to a collective murmur at every shot Xavier put up, a sigh of relief weaving itself through the crowd at every missed goal. Cheers so loud they threatened to burst eardrums, erupted every time one of the Wildcats hit the puck in to the net.
In the very front row, the wildest hockey fans could be heard above the rest. Justin Defler was easily one of the most spirited, his attire for the night a pink nightgown, while he gathered with a group of other UK students in colorful onesies and pajamas.
“My friends picked it up at Walmart and bet I wouldn’t wear it,” Defler explained when asked what inspired his outfit. As for why UK students should come to an ice hockey game? “They’re wild, crazy, and beast. Write that word down: Beast.”
While the first and second periods both resulted in ties, the Cats pulled ahead in the third period, with #61, Blake Riley, securing a 4-point lead over Xavier University. With 6.4 seconds left in the game, freshman Jordon Shannon, scored, giving the Cats a 5-3 victory over the visiting opponent.