By Jimmy Cassidy
In a rematch against the Virginia Commonwealth University Rams, the ice hockey team at the Catholic University drew an impressive crowd of students to support at the DuPont Ice Rink on Friday, February 12th. Although they fell to the Rams, 6-3, the Ice Cards still qualify for the playoffs for their respective conference. Catholic is a member of the Blue Ridge Hockey Conference (BRHC), which is within the American Collegiate Hockey Association. The playoffs begin for CUA begin tonight, February 19th, as the 4th-seeded Cardinals will play host to Old Dominion University at Chilled Ponds Rink in Chesapeake, Virginia. Catholic’s record sits at 6-7 on the season.
An estimated 200 Catholic University students came by bus, metro, or car to watch their team take on VCU on the 12th. An impressive roar came from the stands when the black and red jerseys came out onto the ice for warm-ups. The crowd remained vocally supportive throughout the contest to cheer on the team.
Sophomore forward Kyle O’Malley was asked after the game about the impact that fans can bring if they come in numbers.
“The huge fan section at the VCU game made it so fun to play in for all of the players,” O’Malley said. “The crowd and all of the cheering really gets me and the rest of the group excited and hyped up to play a game against a really strong opponent.”
The team has picked up notable wins against Old Dominion, American Unviersity, and their previous game against VCU. Matthew Schlagenhaft, Johnnie Yedman, and Nick Hostovsky have led the team offensively with 19, 17, and 16 points, respectively. The win over VCU, who will be the #3 seed in the playoffs, was a strong team performance on the road to beat a great opponent in the Rams. Sophomore Dean Mazur delivered a big-time performance in the victory, as the left winger scored two goals and added one assist. The Cards won the game in the same fashion as their last loss to VCU, with a score of 6-3.
“We worked incredibly together and it was nice to see our hard work pay off in that VCU win,” Mazur said. “Overall I’d say we had a very successful year. We are definitely set up for another run at the cup for a second year in a row.”