The 2020-2021 Season was one full of adversity and defying the odds. The Ice Cats came in this season doubted that they would be a major contender this year. The previous year the Cats season and playoff run were cut short due to the COVID-19 shutdown with an unfinished chapter of Saint Ignatius hockey in a closed book. The team and Coach O’Rourke knew this would be a big year.
Fifteen seniors graduated that year, leaving only Goalies Dawson Mohr and Aiden Mclaughlin, Defenseman Aidan Conway and Forwards Chuckie Wilson and Erik Galauner, and Owen Zawadzki. An Injury caused returner JT Trobek to be sidelined for the entirety of the year as well.
With a very young squad eager to prove themselves, the Cats figured out early every team in Ohio had their eyes on the blue and gold. The underclassmen rose to the challenge and worked extremely hard to prove themselves against the top teams in the state of Ohio.
“We got a bunch of young guys and a couple of old heads, but we’re all clicking out there and finding each other,” says freshman forward Zach Wilson.
The Cats played incredible hockey to close out the regular season with a win over Upper Arlington, and a tie against the number two ranked St. Francis Knights. The run was cut short on Saturday, February 27, as the Cats failed to bring the energy Rocky River brought. The Cats had already beaten Rocky River twice this year, but they knew this game would be different. Rocky River jumped on the board early with two quick ones in the first period and rode that momentum throughout the game. The Cats lost in a callous final game at Brooklyn Arena.
“I would say that even though it didn’t end how we wanted it to, it was still better than having no season at like Michigan high schools, and for that, we are grateful,” says senior Captain Aidan Conway.
The Cats finish the season with a record of 15-8-3. The future appears bright for Wildcat Hockey as there is a significant amount of young depth in the coming years. The Ice Cats are eager to hit the rinks again come the Winter of 2021-22.