Club icers break 10-game losing streak

Laura Conway

The men’s club hockey team played a strong comeback weekend against Marquette University out of Milwaukee, Wis. The ‘Cats swept the weekend after a 10-game losing streak winning the first game on Friday, Nov. 12 10-1 and the second game on Saturday, Nov. 13, 11-2.

The first game this weekend, the team just wanted to get back on track. Freshman Kevin McNab thought all they needed was that first goal to get the ball rolling for the team’s motivation.

“First game since we’d been going through a slump, we had wanted to get back on track. Once we scored a few goals we knew we could beat up on them,” McNab said

McNab gave the team two apples, or assists, towards their victory goals.

Junior rookie on the team, Nick Cavato, said that the team wasn’t intimidated by the winning record Marquette University had.

Freshman center Kevin McNab (left) and junior right wing Jon Stengel (right) work together to further progress into their offensive zone. McNab scored the first of 11 goals against Marquette University on Saturday, Nov. 13. // Gil Cohen/N.W.

“In game one, we knew that they had a better record, but we could tell they were a weaker team.  We tried to keep it in their zone a lot, and it worked,” Cavato said.

McNab attributes the win to the fact that the Wildcats stayed out of the penalty box for more time during this series, keeping the playing field even between the two teams.

“When we are out of the box, we can hang with any team because we are even. When we are low, it wears our team down quicker,” McNab said.

The team lost some of its regular starters so the team had to work hard all week to get used to their new line up.  Right wing Andrew Herriman said he is proud of how the team adapted.

“We definitely had better communication and capitalized on all our opportunities this week. We passed the puck a lot better and played better as a team. We actually played a lot better on the team knowing that we were all playing as a cohesive team,” Herriman said.

The second game was also a good game for NMU, starting off with the first of 11 goals for the ‘Cats scored within the first 45 seconds. McNab was impressed with how strong the team went into the second game.

“Second game we were pretty confident so we took it right to them again, they were pretty dusty.  We even scored three in second period,” McNab said.

Cavato commented on the improved offense with some good goals in the second game and a first win for a rookie goalie.

“We started pulling away second and third periods, putting shots on the goal and getting the puck in the net,” Cavato said. “We broke them down mentally. I got a goal, Kellen Michalak got a hat trick, and it was a big first win for our rookie goalie Mike O’Connell.”

Marquette was going to be a good match for the Wildcats; it has  been the only team to beat St. Norbert College who is ranked 10th in the ACHA Central Hockey Region. St. Norbert beat the Wildcats at their home invitational earlier in the season. It was a rough loss that took the championship at the Wildcat invitational away from the host team.

Herriman is hoping the good spirits from this series carry over into next weekend against St. Norbert College.

“We are hoping to keep the momentum up and beat the next guys we play,” Herriman said.

The next game will be away against St. Norbert College Friday, Nov. 19 and Saturday, Nov. 20 at 8 p.m. and 2 p.m., respectively.