Saint Ignatius Hockey made its 2020-2021 debut on a warm and sunny Saturday afternoon, in a preseason scrimmage against Erie Cathedral Prep at OBM Arena in Strongsville. This was the first time the team hit the ice together this season, with Head Coach Pat O’Rourke ’90 electing not to practice after a long and draining week of tryouts.
The team, with leadership from Senior Captain Aidan Conway and assistant captains Erik Galauner and Chuckie Wilson, played classic Wildcat Hockey scoring two quick goals in the first few minutes of the game and finishing with an 8-3 victory over the Ramblers.
The cancellation of the state tournament's Final Four matches in the 2019-2020 season came along with the loss of one of the strongest senior classes of all time. The Wildcats are fielding a fairly young team with only 10 seniors and nine returners. The boys looked very poised despite the lack of time together as a unit.
“I thought it went really well considering that was our first time playing together without even a practice,” says Conway. “Obviously whenever you get a win it’s good, but we still have so much room to improve, which a lot of teams do, but we actually have the ability to do it.
“I think our biggest strength and takeaway from Saturday is our depth,” Conway adds. “Doesn’t matter if you’re a senior or freshman, we are confident in everyone on the roster. Once we start playing real games we’ll have to sit a few, and it’ll probably be tough for the coaches to decide who, but that’s a nice luxury to have. Another big thing that was nice to see was our improvement throughout the scrimmage. You could see we were playing more confidently on the last shift of the game compared to the first”.
The Wildcats will scrimmage again next Saturday at OBM Arena against Olentangy Liberty at 12:10 p.m. With limited seating available, you can catch the game live on the SIBN.