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Varsity Cats Battle, Fall to Mundelein (12-4-09) December 5, 2009

Posted by claugh217 in Varsity.

The Varsity Icecats could not overcome three first period power play goals and fell to rival Mundelein 5-2 Friday night at Glacier. The game was hard fought, with the Cats battling to get back in the game until the final buzzer. All in all it was a strong effort, despite the outcome.

The game marks the end of the regular season series between the two teams, with Mundelein winning both matchups, setting up what promises to be a long-term rivalry between the two teams. Befitting a rivalry, the game was extremely physical, with both sides taking the body at every opportunity.

The Icecats were out shot in the game 24-16. Cats goalie Erich Held made 19 saves, including several tough ones on good looks by the Mundelein shooters. Penalties were exactly even, with each team racking up 16 minutes. Mundelein was more successful converting on its power play, going 3 for 8, with Libertyville going 1 for 8.

The Cats got their first tally with 1:39 left in the first period when Peter Henderson crashed the net and poked a loose puck though Mundelein goalie Alex Steagall’s five hole. Many Mundelein fans, and a protesting Steagall, thought the play was blown dead  before the shot, but a check of a video of the play clearly shows it was put in a fraction of a second before the play was whistled dead. Good goal.

Cats forward Peter Henderson pokes the puck through Mundelein goalie Alex Steagall's five hole in Friday night's game. CLICK ON PHOTO TO VIEW VIDEO.

At that point the game was 2-1 and the Cats were solidly in it. But with just 27 seconds on the clock, Mundelein scored again on the powerplay on a loose puck scramble, and the first ended with the Cats down 3-1. Mundelein added another in the second, and a back breaker with 6 minutes left in the third.

The Cats made a late run to get back in the game with Connor Krukowski scoring a powerplay goal on a turnover in the Mundelein zone with just under four minutes remaining. Another quick goal might have made it interesting, but the Cats were not able to dent the net again, and the game ended 5-2.

The Cats are not done for the weekend. Tonight at 6:00 they face off against Lake Forest Academy in an exhibition game at Glacier. Many of the team’s big-minute players will be in Crystal Lake for the annual All Start game, which will give the remaining Cats a chance to play more minutes and in more special team situations.

On Sunday night, the Cats travel to Franklin Park to face off against Guerin in the teams’ first meeting of the year. The Cats will have their all stars back for Guerin. They are likely to be missing hard-hitting defenseman Matt Majewski, who left Friday’s game early after being on the receiving end of a nasty hit.

The Cats league record stands at 5-6-2, with 12 points in the standings, good for fouth place, a point behind Carmel Catholic. A win Sunday would move the Cats into third.




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