’Cats look to regain on-ice dominance

Laura Conway

The men’s club hockey team played St. Cloud State University, who is ranked seventh in the ACHA Central region. The games were played Friday Nov. 18 and Saturday Nov. 19 at the Lakeview Arena in Marquette.

The Wildcats fought back to win 5-4 in overtime on Saturday after a 6-2 loss on Friday.

Sophomore center Mike Baudino said the seventh straight loss on Friday hit the team deeper than just statistically.

“Our pride kicked in. We were sick and tired of losing to teams we knew we could beat,” Baudino said. “Coaches had some words for us in the locker room and on the ice that motivated us and we all realized we had to get it done.”

Head coach Carl Trosien said while penalties were a factor in Friday’s loss, the team wasn’t playing up to their potential.

“We are getting chopped and no calls were being made, so there were some retaliation penalties,” Trosien said. “We were just playing such undisciplined hockey; it was rough.”

Freshman left wing Joe Kallio, one of the goal scorers on Friday, said it was not necessarily the team’s system play that lost them the game.

“We got into some penalty trouble and they were able to score a few power play goals on us,” Kallio said. “Those couple of errors left us down 3-0 at the end of the first period.”

The Wildcats were down 2-0 at the end of the second period during Saturday’s game. In the third period, junior right wing Kellen Michalak scored twice. Senior left wing Robby Bissett, as well as Baudino, each scored once.

St. Cloud was able to tie up the score just before the end of the third period.

Senior left wing David O’Donnell said the team was confident even though they were going into overtime one man down.

“Going into overtime we felt if we killed off the penalty we’d get the win; we had to kill that penalty off,” O’Donnell said. “We were able to play hard and get back to full strength ready to score.”

O’Donnell said he was able to get a bounce off the goalie and sink the game winner.

“Two minutes into overtime, back to full strength, I got the rebound off of Michalak’s shot and got it in,” O’Donnell said.

Baudino said that the puck was in a lot of traffic in front of the net and that the team was able to dig down and bury the game winner.

“Once the penalty was over, we immediately were in a battle in front of their net, it was awesome,” Baudino said. “We needed it, we got our butt’s kicked on Friday but we pulled together for each other on Saturday.”
O’Donnell said the team was excited and came out onto the ice and went crazy.

“It felt good to get the last goal because we had fought so hard,” O’Donnell said. “The next thing I knew the team jumped off the bench and onto me; we had a good time.”

O’Donnell said that the team wasn’t even thinking about the series against Robert-Morris College after they get back from Thanksgiving break.
“Usually they are a strong team, but we are confident in our game,” O’Donnell said. “This week is a mental break to relax and enjoy the win. We will get back to business after break.”

The Wildcats will travel down to Chicago to play Robert Morris University at 8:50 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 2 and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3 at the Edge Ice Arena in Bensenville, Ill.