By TRICIA GARNER
The Provo IceCats finished off a three-game sweep of the UVSC Wolverines this weekend to win the inaugural Governor’s Cup Collegiate Invitational.
The Peaks Arena in Provo sponsored the first annual three-game series to determine which ice hockey team would claim local bragging rights until next season.
Although the team didn’t match its usual level of intensity in the first two games, the IceCats left no doubt regarding which was the better team. They followed up Tuesday night’s 16-9 victory with an 11-7 win Friday night and a culminating 9-7 victory Saturday to seal the series sweep.
“We went out on a good note,” right-winger Jim Dahle said. “It makes for a positive note after getting second place in the league.”
Dahle recorded three goals and two assists in Saturday’s game, the final of his collegiate career.
“It was a little anti-climactic after we lost to Weber (in the league playoffs), but it was pretty fun,” defender Smokey Imes said.
The IceCats made up for the lack of intensity in the first two games Saturday, due in large part to Dahle. The normally even-tempered player got into his first fight in eight years of hockey, giving him a black eye for his upcoming engagement pictures and taking him out of the final minutes of the game.
“They were a couple of good kids throwing strong punches for a good 30 seconds,” onlooker and teammate Bart Harris said. “There was no swearing, no dirty words. All they did was gain respect for one another.”
Imes had some altercations of his own, getting slapped with a combined eight minutes in penalties in the second period for roughing and charging on the ice.
Saturday’s game was the closest of the three, which may have been a contributing factor to the intense play on the ice.
“It was a cat and mouse game,” center Tylor Harris said.
The IceCats overcame the sluggish starts that had plagued them in the series’ first two games to lead the Wolverines 4-1 at the end of the first period. The Wolverines then came back to score two quick goals, to which IceCats left-winger Mark Sommerfeldt responded with one of his own. Following another UVSC goal, IceCats team captain Ben Edgson netted a long shot to end the period 7-4.
In the third period, UVSC again scored two quick goals, but Imes and Tylor Harris each connected to maintain the IceCats’ lead. UVSC scored one last goal at the buzzer, but it wasn’t enough as the IceCats secured their 9-7 win and the series sweep.
With the win, the IceCats were awarded the first Governor’s Cup trophy for display at The Peaks Arena, as well as individual gold medals for each team member.
The IceCats will resume play in October.