The No. 1 ranked Saint Ignatius prep hockey team split this past weekend against the Pittsburgh Predators, and will head off to the University of Notre Dame for a two-game set against A21 Academy.
Early on in the Saturday night contest, the first of two against the Predators, the visitors opened up a 1-0 lead at Brooklyn Recreation Center.
Less than two minutes later, the Wildcats went on the power play and responded. Alex Bilardo won the puck below the goal line and made a center-ice pass to Greg Langermeier. Langermeier’s pass to the top of the circle found Joey Trobenter in stride, and Trobenter’s slap shot evened the game at one.
“Alex was able to win the draw back to me and our power play was able to set up very quickly,” said Trobenter. “Greg gave me a perfect set-up for a one-timer and I put it in the back of the net.”
Seconds after Trobenter’s power play strike, Danny Cook won an offensive zone faceoff back to sophomore Aidan Conway. Conway, a phenomenal defenseman that Wildcat fans will hear about for years, released a wrist shot from the point, which was tipped by Danny Cook and into the back of the net.
“I won the faceoff back,” said Cook. “I just went to the house, where most goals are scored. LBJ had a great shot and I was able to tip it up over the goalie’s shoulder.”
Soon thereafter, Charlie Ellis cut into the middle of the Wildcats’ offensive zone and put a nice wrist shot on net from the point. The goaltender was screened well down low, and Ellis’ shot found twine, giving the senior defenseman his first goal of the campaign. Ellis always plays a strong two-way game for the Wildcats.
“I kept the puck in the zone at the blue line, and I honestly just threw a puck on net looking for a tip,” said Ellis. “The shot found its way to the back of the net with the help of a great screen by Cam Kurtz.”
The Wildcats’ Saturday afternoon contest saw them lead 3-1 after one period.
In the second period, Michael Boehm circled around the net and made a precise cross-ice pass to Aidan Millett. The junior held onto the puck for a half-second, and gave fans a memory of his game-winning strike versus Brighton last season. Millett’s shot beat the goalie for his third tally of the year.
“Mike made a nice pass to me in the high slot,” said Millett. “I was able to take a good look and pick out where I wanted to shoot and it went in.”
The Predators cut the deficit to two goals when a power play strike beat Zak Kovatch. Kovatch played excellent all weekend for the Wildcats, and kept them in the game on Saturday and Sunday. Kovatch picked up his second career win with Saturday’s effort.
The Cats responded almost immediately when a Michael Boehm shot from the point was deflected to senior Aedan Conway. Conway whacked the puck home past the goaltender for the coup de grace of Saturday’s game.
“As soon as I saw Michael’s shot coming, I wanted to crash the net hard and get a piece of the puck,” said Conway. “Good things happen when you do that.”
The Predators added a late goal, but the Wildcats finished off the win by killing a penalty, and won 5-3.
It is fair to say that Sunday wasn’t the Wildcats’ day. Zak Kovatch fought hard, and kept the Wildcats in the game, but he didn’t get much help.
The first period was a back-and-forth period, and it resulted in the Predators leading 1-0 off a rebound goal.
Late in the second period, the Predators scored another rebound goal, as Kovatch continued to play well, but the Predators once again scored on their sixth and seventh chances in front of the net.
A resilient Predators team was in front of the Wildcats after two periods, and deservedly so.
The third period was the period where things got away from the Blue and Gold.
The Predators added an early third-period goal to lead 3-0.
The Wildcats answered back as Joey Trobenter walked off the wall and zipped a cross-ice pass to Michael Boehm, who beat the goaltender short-side to bring the Cats within two goals.
In the span of three minutes, though, the Predators went on a scoring tear and left the Wildcats down 6-1.
Joey Trobenter found the back of the net on the power play, but the Wildcats still fell by the score of 7-2.
“I got a nice, easy pass from Alex,” said Trobenter. “I attempted to get a one-timer off but ended up whiffing, and luckily the goalie lost it through the players in front of the net, and it squeaked in.”
The Wildcats next head to the University of Notre Dame to play two games versus A21 Academy. The Cats will stay to see the outdoor game between Notre Dame and Michigan on Saturday.
Puck drops Thursday at 7 p.m., and Friday at 12:45 p.m., both from the state-of-the-art Compton Family Ice Arena.
Patrick Keane ‘20 and Max Marazzi ‘20 will join me on the call.