While most people stayed inside late Saturday night due to the cold weather, tensions between two schools were heating up in Lexington.
The EKU ice hockey team took on rival University of Kentucky in front of a big crowd for the second matchup in two days.
EKU, coming off a 6-3 defeat by UK Friday night, was looking to edge out a win in the Bourbon Barrel Trophy game. This would not be the case as EKU lost 9-4 after a tough battle.
Early in the game, neither team seemed to gain control, as the first period was broken up by multiple penalties for both teams. As play calmed down, it would be UK who would take the early lead with two points in the first period. Several big saves from EKU’s goalie, Jacob Shaw, kept the Wildcats from getting much farther.
Thirty-two seconds into the second period, the Colonels narrowed the margin with a goal by senior Cristian Purdom. Eastern, however, couldn’t keep up the momentum as Kentucky came back with three more goals, bringing the score to 5-1 by the end of the second period.
The third period would lead to four more goals by UK and three by EKU. The goals for the Colonels came from Gabriel Bahn, Timothy Muhsman and Jaret Pogliano in his first game for EKU. Despite their three goals, the Colonels couldn’t catch up to the Wildcats, who went on to win the game 9-4.
Despite the scoreline, the team found positives in the game and aspects to focus on going into the final weeks of conference play, turning their sights to the conference tournament in February.
“We just have to stay in the gym, be more focused and prepare for the long haul,” team president Timothy Muhsman said.
Head coach and EKU exercise and sport scienceprofessor Joel Cormier focused on the positives from the game.
“This is still about education...a lot of what we are trying to do is the educational moment, perseverance through when you are tired, beat up and being the best you can be,” Cormier said.
EKU Hockey continues their season next weekend against Indiana University with two home games at Lexington Ice Center. The games are scheduled for Jan. 25 and 26 with puck drop at 11:55 p.m.