OHIO CITY, Oh - The Wildcats skated into Lakewood on a four-game winning streak after going 4-0 in their own Father Styles MLK Showcase, defeating Flint Powers Catholic (MI), St. Viator (IL), Howell (MI) and Buffalo St. Francis (NY) in a shootout. There was a lot of energy going into the weekend; the cats went across town to play the St. Edward Eagles at Serpentini Winterhurst Arena, the home of the Eagles.
Line one, Logan Rechin, Owen Zawadzki and Brandon Getz took the ice on forwards; behind them on defense were Gavin George and Zach Zahoranski. Sophomore netminder Nolan Francis played in the blue paint for the Wildcats. The first period started how every Eagle and Wildcat game goes, lots of speed, intensity and energy, not a single open seat or spot along the glass for fans in the arena.
The Wildcats had more puck possession in their offensive zone, but the Eagles had a few quality second chance rebound opportunities, yet no pucks crossed the goal line after fifteen minutes and both teams went to their locker rooms trying to find a way to break the ice. At 11:49 in the middle period, junior defenseman and assistant captain Zach Zahoranski grabbed a loose puck in the high slot, he faked in the middle, losing the defender, dangling through the middle between the hash marks and released a backhand shot on the ice that slid five-hole between the legs of St. Edward's Jackson Miller.
The lefty made a beautiful juke and then broke the tie putting the Blue and Gold up 1-0. As the game progressed, the Eagles trailed the Wildcats for some time, but in traffic in front of the Wildcat net, Geoffrey Lapesevich found his stick on the puck and moments later, he was celebrating with his teammates with the game knotted at 1-1. Back and forth, both teams kept up with each other, neck and neck.
As the third period arose and concluded, junior Bia Savarino connected a perfect pass to Dario Piazza. They let a shot fly from the top of the right circle with a defender in front of him. Piazza's snipe spun through the air and over Miller's blocker, "Right where mama keeps the cookies, Top Shelf!" Dario's goal game with 1:40 left to play, the Wildcats were able to fend off the Eagles for the last one hundred seconds and the empty net, six on five, the Eagles sent their way as well. The Cats walked away as victors and sang the Saint Ignatius Alma Mater with the students; Francis secured another win on a twenty-six save game.
Less than twenty-four hours later, the Cats laced up their skates again, this time for senior night. On this particular night, the Wildcats commemorated Owen Zawadzki, Kevin Mays, Gavin George, Quinn Tabol, Logan Rechin and Kallen Zarembski, hosting the Gilmour Lancers at home.
Head Hockey Coach Pat O'Rourke '90 left this message for all six of his seniors, "All of them are super kids, I think back as the memories, as they kind of wash over me to even when they were eighth-graders and youngsters in our program and to think they made it this far, it goes fast, so we have to enjoy every day and week we have left with these young men," says O'Rourke. "I am so proud of them and hopefully, we will have a nice finish to our season, and we can all have memories for a lifetime and this class, the class of 2022, will never be forgotten." His message meant a lot to the players, knowing how much he cares for every one of them.
The Lancers brought their best game to the Cats, defeating them 5-2.
This past weekend the Wildcats went to Michigan to play Michigan's number one ranked Detroit Central Catholic (MI) and Brother Rice (MI) in the MIHL Showcase. The Ice Cats fell short on Friday night as they would lose 2-1 against DCC. The Cats came back looking to get back in the win column vs. Brother Rice on Saturday.
The Cats held a late 2-1 lead against Brother Rice, but the Warriors would knot the game at two in the second period. The game would end in a 2-2 tie at USA Hockey Arena.
The Ice Cats sit at 12-5-5 on the season heading into their final four regular-season games. They will continue to play in the MIHL Showcase in Michigan next weekend as they'll take on Calumet (MI) on Friday at 11:35 a.m. and Hartland (MI) on Saturday at 7:15 p.m. The Cats will wrap up the regular season the weekend of February 11 as they'll take on a pair of Toledo teams in St. Francis and St. John's at Sylvania Tam-O-Shanter.