IceCats of yesteryear to play in alumni game

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    By Spencer Deery

    They?ve sharpened their skates, dusted their sticks and found their old jerseys?the IceCats of seasons past are returning to the Peaks Ice Arena Friday to face this year?s team in the annual alumni game.

    ?It?s traditional,? IceCats head coach Matt Beaudry said. ?It?s our chance to have a fun game and to reconnect past players with the present team.?

    Some of the returning alumni played for the IceCats as recently as last year will play along with others who graduated as long as six years ago. Some are local, while others are flying in from as far as Hawaii for another chance on the ice.

    Beaudry said the game will be a nice change from last week?s high-pressure match-ups against rival Utah State, which resulted in two IceCat losses and the failure to qualify for the national tournament.

    The game precedes another home match up Saturday against Weber State?s Division II team. Beaudry said he expects his team to win easily against the struggling Wildcats, who the IceCats beat in November, 11-3.

    Saturday?s game will be the last the IceCats must play without forward Josh Burkart. Burkart received a two-game suspension last Friday for fighting Aggie Robert Hashimoto after Hashimoto committed an intentional unsportsmanlike foul against Burkart?s older brother and teammate Jimmy Burkart.

    Friday?s ejection marked Burkart?s second ejection of the season, so the league required a two-game suspension. He will return next week for the team?s final game of the season at home against Utah State.

    Beaudry said he does not believe his players will struggle to find motivation this weekend even though a national tournament berth is no longer on the line.

    ?They play for the love of the game.? Beaudry said. ?They realize they only have two or three games left. Essentially it?s for pride. They don?t want to role over and give up. Even though there?s no national championship, they have a lot of heart and are competitors.?

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