IceCats’ post-season hopes rely on weekend perform

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    By COREY DAVIS

    With two games remaining, the Provo IceCats must win at least one of them to make it to the playoffs.

    The only team standing in the IceCats’ way is the University of Utah, which the IceCats play tonight and again tomorrow.

    The IceCats will face off against the Utes tonight at 9:45 at the Utah Lake State Park Ice Rink. If the IceCats win tonight, they are guaranteed a play-off spot. If they lose, Utah will go to the playoffs.

    “We’re looking forward to the game (tonight),” said Garth Evans, the Ice Cats’ left-winger. “It’s going to be a tight defensive game with a lot of intensity.”

    Jody Brucker, goalie for the IceCats, said the team needs to avoid penalties. Last week’s game against Utah State proved that when the IceCats have a team member in the penalty box, the other team scores.

    Last week the IceCats played without a full team in their 10-2 loss to Utah State. The IceCats learned from their loss and will be playing at full strength tonight.

    “Both teams have the same amount of depth,” Brucker said. “It will come down to our third and fourth lines being better than (the Utes’.)”

    To prepare for Utah, IceCats coach Ryan Schmidt focused on the team’s skating, discipline and passing during practices this week.

    “When we do (those) things, we can take it to Utah,” Schmidt said.

    Schmidt said the Utes have two great players, Ryan Snow and Matt Green. The Utes funnel their plays through them. Schmidt said he knows what the IceCats need to do to stop Snow and Green, and the rest of the Utes.

    This week, the IceCats were only able to practice two days because of the weather.

    At Tuesday’s practice, the IceCats were joined by the radio station 107.5 The End. The radio station brought food and free gifts and broadcasted live while fans tried to shoot the puck past the IceCats goalie Scott Pasch.

    The IceCats still practiced hard and were able to polish up their puck handling skills. Brucker said the practices this week strengthened the IceCats’ confidence.

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