Ice Cats open season against conference rivals

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    By Jeremy Trail

    The Provo Ice Cats will play last year”s conference champions, the University of Utah, Friday night, Sept. 28, at the team”s season opener at Seven Peaks ice arena.

    Ice Cat players are confidant they can hold their own against the Utes.

    “They are expecting us to be the same team we were last year. But we”re not,” said Ray Bernier, the Cats” head coach. “I think we are going to surprise Utah, this year our team is deep, with four good lines of forwards and three solid lines of defense.”

    Bernier explained that with strong veteran players along with many new talented athletes, it will make changes in the Cat”s style of play.

    This season the Cats will be running a European-style of offense. This fast-paced offense is designed to open up more net for shooting opportunities by weaving the forwards as they move down the ice, Bernier said.

    The club team from the University of Utah is prepared for a good game Friday night.

    “The Ice Cats are significantly improved over last year,” said Jim Jorgenson, University of Utah”s faculty liaison and part time coach. “They have added some new players, and we expect it to be a good game.”

    “The game will be very physical,” said Ice Cats assistant coach Patrick Perrett.

    Ben Edgson, a veteran defenseman for the Cats, believes that hustle and grit will be instrumental in creating a surprise for the University of Utah.

    “The game is won in the corners and along the boards,” Edgson said. “Win the battles in the corners or you”re not going to win.”

    The final practice Thursday morning still left the Cat”s coaching staff undecided about which of the team”s goaltenders would start Friday night”s game.

    A confident Tamio Stehrenberger, a veteran hockey goaltender and first year Ice Cat said, “If the team will stop all free goals, I”ll stop every thing else.” The decision on which goaltender will start Friday night could come as a surprise even to the Ice Cat players.

    The Cats will also take the ice Saturday night, Sept. 29, at Seven Peaks ice arena to face Weber State. Faceoffs for this weekend”s games will begin at 8:00 p.m.

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