(Yes, I will keep trying to find UK hockey posters to begin each of these posts.)
The Cool Cats returned to home ice Friday night to face off against rival Louisville on the eve of Kentucky’s big SEC football opener against Florida just down the street in Commonwealth. Maybe it was excitement of another chance to take down the Cards, or perhaps the tailgaters decided to check out the magic that is UK Hockey, but the Lexington Ice Center was probably the most packed I have seen it in my four years on campus. The line was absurd, and snaked all the way through the parking lot to the main road about an hour before opening face-off.
The Cats didn’t disappoint the Big Blue faithful, netting three goals in the first period en route to a 6-3 victory over the Dirty Birds. In front of a crowd that seemed ready to take the roof off the place, senior Pat Wittman got the Cats started early with a goal from the point with 17:36 left in the first period. Andrew Baron scored next for the Cats, shortly followed by Corey Kopach. Louisville already looked like the wheels were falling off after the first 20 minutes, and the Cats led 3-0.
Ryan Thomas would add another goal for Kentucky in the second period, before Kopach added his second netter and Charlie Hales put it passed the U of L goalie on an impressive breakaway in the third.
Louisville’s three goals all came during the third period in garbage time.
(Beard Guy makes an appearance to cheer on the Cats)
As I said, the atmosphere around the ice Friday night was unbelievable, but it club hockey games in Lexington after midnight probably aren’t the best environment for the kids. I got the chance to talk to a fan, John (we’ll keep his last name private, on the off chance he doesn’t remember talking to me tomorrow morning), about tonight’s match.
Me: So, were you happy with how the Cats played tonight?
John: Definitely. They threw some (expletive) around. (expletive) Louisville!
Me: Agreed. How do you think the crowd was tonight?
John: Pretty good. Pretty good. We’re all in it together, you know? Loud as (expletive) in here.
Me: Yes, it was. Are you heading to Commonwealth Stadium tomorrow night?
John: You know it! (expletive) Florida!
I don’t think I could have said it better.
Oh, and look who stopped by to support the Cool Cats tonight.
— Marcus Lee (@SuperKingMe) September 28, 2013
UK Hockey returns to action tomorrow night at 8 pm in another match against the Cards, this time in Louisville. Check back Sunday for a weekend wrap-up and a look ahead to another weekend of Cool Cats hockey.