Following a weekend split versus the Pittsburgh Predators, the Wildcats will head to South Bend, Indiana to play on the storied campus of the University of Notre Dame on Thursday and Friday.
“We were not satisfied with the split last weekend, so we will be hungry for some competition at Notre Dame,” said Greg Langermeier. “We learned a lot this past weekend. It will be very exciting playing at ND, and we are looking forward to watching some great outdoor college hockey on Saturday.”
In the grind of a hockey schedule, it is a good idea to have some fun throughout the journey. The Cats will be spectating an outdoor hockey game between the Fighting Irish and the Michigan Wolverines on Saturday.
Before the Wildcats can enjoy the Irish-Wolverines rivalry, they must face A21 Academy Prep.
A21 is a second-year hockey program from Ontario that has beaten multiple impressive teams this year. In a trail-blazing position similar to the Wildcats, A21 is a tough, hard-nosed hockey team that will make playing at the Compton Family Ice Arena quite the challenge.
A21 has beaten Everest Academy, a team the Wildcats have played in the past, as well as Saint Edward High School. A21 defeated the Eagles, 5-1, earlier this year. A21 also fared similar to the Wildcats versus Shady Side Academy.
“We need to play better and get back to the basics of getting greasy goals and crashing the net,” said Aidan Millett. “We need to try and score that way instead of trying to do it all ourselves.”
Millett has been as hot as they come lately. Aidan has scored in two of his last three games, and will be the SIBN Wildcat to Watch as the Blue and Gold head to South Bend. Millett’s increased production has helped to spread out scoring among forwards.
“It’s going to be a cool experience for all of us,” said Millett. “Playing at Notre Dame is something you do not get to do all the time. It should be special for all of us.”
Benny Savarino will be back in net for the Wildcats. Savarino is 5-3-0 with a 2.60 GAA on the season. Goalies have been a bright spot as of late, as Zak Kovatch had an awesome weekend, and proved to be much more than just an average backup goalie. Kovatch has done his job and more between the pipes, as he kept the Wildcats in the contest both Saturday and Sunday.
The Wildcats’ penalty kill had a rough weekend, and the Cats will look to restore themselves to their previous penalty kill success. The Cats have an aggressive penalty kill often sending two men on the chase. The Wildcats hold a PK rate of just over 88%.
The Saint Ignatius power play unit had a positive weekend, improving to 26% on the man advantage. Joey Trobenter scored two power play goals on the weekend. Trobenter is always a name to watch, as he can finish on any opportunity.
The Wildcats and A21 battle at the Compton Family Ice Arena on Thursday and Friday. The puck will drop at 7 p.m. and 12:45 p.m., respectively.
Pat Keane ‘20 and Max Marazzi ‘20 will join me on the call from the press box of Compton.