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Cats Battle, Fall to CLS 4-3 January 31, 2010

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The Varsity Icecats put up a very good fight against a formidable Crystal Lake South Team Saturday night in Crystal Lake, falling 4-3 in hard fought battle. The Icecats got goals from Peter Henderson, Jeff Martin and Justin Antolec, with helpers from Connor Krukowski, Mike Lauber, Martin and Jack Rieke. Goalie Erich Held played well in relief, after coming into the game late in the first period.

The Cats got off to an early 1-0 lead on Henderson’s power play goal, only to fall behind 3-1 at the end of the first. The Cats stayed in the game, and with the score 4-2 with less than two minutes to go, they pulled Held and immediately Justin scored to bring the game within a goal. CLS, which had only lost twice this season coming into Saturday’s match, was able to hold on for a narrow victory. The Cats were outshot 30-24 in the game. CLS took six penalties to three by the Icecats.

The Icecats finished the regular season with a 12-7-4 record, good for 28 points and second place in the Metro Central National Division.

Next up is the playoffs, which will involve two tracks — the league playoffs and the state playoffs. The Metro Central round-robin playoff schedule will be released this week. Morton-Washington will be the Icecats’ first opponent in the Varsity Combined division of the single elimination the Blackhawks Cup state tournament. That match has not yet been scheduled.


Cats Dispatch Depleted Jacobs Squad on Senior Night January 30, 2010

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The Varsity Icecats gave their senior players a nice sendoff last night with an impressive 6-1 thumping of a shorthanded Jacobs team.

The Icecats took full advantage of their opponents’ short bench, tallying four unanswered goals in the first period. Smooth skating senior forward Connor Krukowski got things started at 8:05 on a pretty pass from freshman Peter Henderson, which Connor one timed into an open net. Just over a minute later the always hustling Tony Rossetti buried a hard shot just under the crossbar, assisted by junior defenseman Joey VanderMey and junior forward and assistant captain Nick Young. At the 3:27 mark, Jeff Martin and Justin Antolec made Jacobs pay for their second of what would be eight penalties for the evening. Martin, who had the puck on a string much of the night, maneuvered in and out of the Jacobs penalty killers, finding a seam to the wide open Justin, who buried it.

Justin wasn’t done. With two minutes left in the first period, he took a long pass from sophomore defenseman Brad Feinman and tucked another one past the  shell-shocked Jacobs goalie, who saw four first period shots pass him on nine attempts. In his defense, they were all quality scoring chances well-executed by the Icecats skill players.

The Cats, winning 4-0 after one, seemed to take it easy in the second period, and it looked for a moment at least that Jacobs might get back in the game. Jacobs outshot the Cats 13-5 in the second, and managed to sneak one shot past Cats goalie Erich Held, who had another stellar night with 20 saves. However, that was all Jacobs could muster. In the third, the Icecats woke up and decided to put a boot on the neck of the tired Jacobs squad. Team captain Tommy Tambourine tallied at the 6:14 mark (another power play goal), and junior forward Ian Donnahoo added another for good measure at 3:50, burying a rebound on an Antolec shot.

The game had a large number of penalties. Jacobs was sent to the box eight times, including one major, for 19 minutes. The Cats spent 14 minutes in the box.

Game Notes

The Golden Eagles were missing five players to suspensions, including four of their top five point producers.

Before the game began, the Icecats organization honored seniors Eric Cardona, Krukowski, Mike Lauber and Greg Majewski, and their parents with a special senior night sendoff, emceed by Ron Tambourine.

Friday’s game was the second consecutive home contest webcast live by the LHS CAT-TV organization.

The Icecats play their last regular season game tonight in Crystal Lake against Crystal Lake South.


Final Home Game on CAT-TV January 29, 2010

Posted by claugh217 in General, Varsity.
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The Varsity Icecats take on Jacobs tonight at Glacier in their final home game of the regular season. The game will be webcast live on CAT-TV. Game time is 8:40 pm. The broadcast begins around 8:20 and a video link can be found on the LHS website, www.lhswildcats.org. It will also be “Senior Night” tonight honoring the Icecats players who will move on after this sesson — Greg Majewski, Mike Lauber, Connor Krukowski and Eric Cardona. Please come out to enjoy the game and wish our senior players well.

The Varsity and JV Icecats will begin the playoffs in February. The playoff schedules have not yet been released.

Pioneer Press Spotlights Martin, Tambourine January 27, 2010

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An article posted by the Pioneer Press yesterday profiles Icecats sophomore center Jeff Martin, who leads the varsity team in assists with 17 and is second in total points with 25. Martin is also currently ranked second in the Metro Central National Division in assists.

Jeff Martin

The article also gives props to team captain Tommy Tambourine, who was the hero in last Friday’s 4-3 victory over Carmel, scoring two goals, including the game winner.

Tommy Tambourine

JV Ends Regular Season on a Hot Streak January 27, 2010

Posted by claugh217 in Junior Varsity.
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The Junior Varsity Icecats have ended the regular season on a hot streak, winning two consecutive games  in dramatic fashion as they prepare for the playoffs.

On Sunday, the JV Icecats found their way into the win column with a dramatic come from behind 8-6 victory over Maine. Varsity floater Peter Henderson notched a hat trick, with two goals from Patrick Quinn, and one goal apiece from Shawn Rieke and Scott Miller. Nick Draths got the win in net in relief of Grant Gembra.

On Monday night, JV beat Huntley/Lake Zurich 3-2. Nick Draths was again in goal, notching his second consecutive win. The scoring was led by Garrett Gratz with two goals.

More details can be found on the new Junior Varsity blog.

Check Out the Beast’s Big Goal January 26, 2010

Posted by claugh217 in General, Junior Varsity.
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Check out this video of Eric “the Beast” Cardona’s Sports Center worthy winning shootout goal in a recent JV practice game. Well done Eric.

Be sure to help give Eric and the other Icecats seniors a nice send off at Glacier this Friday at Senior Night, during the Varsity game against Jacobs. Game time is 8:40.

Click image to launch video.

Icecats Prevail Over Carmel in Nailbiter (1-22-10) January 23, 2010

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It was hockey night in Vernon Hills Friday. Two local rivals battling for position in the standings. A large and boisterous crowd. A rousing live performance of the National Anthem. The looming presence of six television cameras ready to capture the action on CAT-TV. All these elements conspired to create an electric atmosphere at Glacier.

Oh, and then there was the game itself.

The Varsity Icecats took it to the Carmel Corsairs early, scoring twice in the first period on a Jack Rieke dash up the left wing at 7:14 and again five minutes late on a Jeff Martin wraparound. Cats up 2-0. Nothing to worry about, right?

Not so fast. With two minutes left in the first, the Cats took a 5 minute major penalty for boarding that led to near disaster. First, the Corsairs tallied with :45 left in the first frame, sneaking a low shot past goalie Max Laughlin, who had turned away the first few attempts on the kill. Then, less than 10 seconds into the second, a long, tight angle Carmel shot deflected its way into the net. Tie game. The Cats got it right back on a Jack Rieke steal at the Carmel blue line and dish to Tommy Tambourine, who buried the 2-0 shorthanded chance. Now it’s a 3-2 game. Three minutes later, Carmel scored on another deflected shot from the high slot that Max couldn’t see through a screen. Tie game again.

Max was able to shake off the rough patch in the second. He made some clutch saves late in the period on a mini-breakaway and rebound, and then carried it over into a stand-out third period.

The third was an intense, fast-paced frame with the teams trading chances and the goaltenders trading big saves. Max turned away all 14 shots he saw in the final frame, including some huge saves on point blank chances. Carmel goalie Matt McHugh also made some highlight real stops on shots the whole crowd assumed were heading for the back of the net. Max got a big assist late in third from junior defenseman Stephen Stanis, who reached out his stick to deflect a Carmel rebound shot aimed at a wide open net, preserving the 3-3 tie heading into the final minutes.

Despite all the offense, nothing was going in, and the game seemed destined for a tie. Then, at 1:43, Tommy came through, muscling a puck over McHugh’s glove, assisted by Martin, to give the Cats a 4-3 lead. The Cats knew a lot could happen in the remaining minute and a half. The boys managed to keep the puck in the Carmel end for a while, but Carmel eventually broke out and was able to get it in deep and get off a few more attempts at tying it up. The Cats held tight and finally, the game ended with a 4-3 victory and a huge collective sigh of relief from the Libertyville-Vernon Hills fans.

In the end, play was pretty even. The Cats fired 33 shots at Carmel, and Carmel fired 31 back. The Cats were the more physical of the two teams, and that may have helped tip the scales. Without the extended penalty, the game might have been an easier ride for the Icecats. Overall, it was a good night for the defensive core of Brad Feinman, Joey VanderMey, Mike Lauber, Matt Majewski and Stephen Stanis.

The win gives the Cats  26 points for the season, good for second place, depending on the outcome of Conant’s game Sunday against Jacobs. At the very least, the Cats will begin next week with solid command of third place in their division.

The Cats next outing is at home Friday against Jacobs. It will be Senior Night, honoring the four senior Icecats, Eric Cardona, Connor Krukowski, Mike Lauber and Greg Majewski. The 8:40 pm game will also be televised by CAT-TV. The Cats end the regular season Saturday with a make up game away against Crystal Lake South.


Varsity Cats Notch 5th Straight League W vs. Maine (1/20/10) January 21, 2010

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The Varsity Icecats prevailed over Maine Township Wednesday night in a physical match that featured 60 penalty minutes in 42 minutes of play.  The 4-1 win was the fifth straight league victory for the Cats. The Cats were outpenalized by Maine, which drew 36 minutes on 10 penalties to the Cats’ 24 minutes on 8 penalties.

The Cats started the scoring early, with captain Tommy Tambourine notching an unassisted goal at 13:32. Maine answered a few minutes later but Tommy came roaring back with just 26 seconds left in the first, scoring with help from Connor Krukowski and Jeff Martin to take a lead that would not be relinquished. Tommy had a three point night.

The Cats managed two more tallies. First from Connor at 12:12 in the second, with assists from Mike Lauber and Peter Henderson, and the final nail in the coffin came at 7:37 in the third from Tyler Shanholtzer, with helpers from Tommy and Mike.

Goalie Erich Held had a strong night, turning back 21 of 22 shots on goal. The Cats recorded 27 shots on goal against Maine goaltender Nic Juister.

The Cats next game is Friday night at Glacier vs. local rival Carmel. Game time is 8:40 pm. Both the Carmel game and next Friday’s home match against Jacobs will be webcast on LHS’s CAT-TV.


Varsity Cats Advance to Semis at Big Bear January 19, 2010

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The Varsity Icecast made it to the semi-finals of last weekend’s Big Bear tournament in Detroit, falling 5-0 against a tough Canton Crush team Sunday night after amassing a 1-1-1 record in the qualifying rounds of the midget A division.

The Cats got things started with a 2-2 tie against the Deerfield Falcons. Justin Antolec scored twice on assists from Nick Young and Connor Krukowski. The Cats probably should have picked up a W in this match, but took a late penalty that ended in a Deerfield powerplay goal.

That night, the Cats fell 2-1 to local favorite Summit, despite outshooting their opponent 27-13. Sometimes they just don’t go in. Jeff Martin scored the Cats only tally.

The Cats sealed their spot in the semis Sunday morning with a strong showing against New Trier White, winning 4-2 with Justin and Tommy Tambourine each scoring two goals. This time, the Cats were the ones outshot, with New Trier firing 29 to our 19.

Defense and goaltending were strong throughout the tournament. Goalie Erich Held had a standout game against New Trier, while Max Laughlin made the final loss closer than it could have been with several flashy pad and glove saves.

Now the Cats are back home and looking to finish the regular season strong. On Wednesday, they face Maine at home at 8:40 pm, followed by another home game Friday at 8:40 pm against rival Carmel. The Carmel game will be broadcast live on CAT-TV.

Varsity Cats Top Huntley, Keep Streak Going January 10, 2010

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The Varsity Icecats notched their fourth straight win and sixth consecutive game with points Sunday afternoon with a 7-1 thrashing of Huntley in West Dundee.

The game got off to a slow start, with tight checking and few scoring chances at either end. The Cats drew first blood when Justin Antolec scored a power play goal at 2:57 in the first, assisted by Matt Majewski. Huntley took 22 penalty minutes in the game, giving the Cats multiple power play chances, and the Cats took full advantage.

Huntley evened things up a minute later when then put a rebound in behind goalie Max Laughlin for what would be their only tally of the game. Max was solid in net, making 16 saves for the night.

The first ended 1-1. Things opened up a little bit in the second for the Cats, with tallies by Justin (assisted by Jeff Martin) and Tommy Tambourine (with help from Martin and Jack Rieke).

The flood gates opened in the third, with the Cats notching four goals to put Huntley away for good. Jeff Martin scored two goals in the third (assists by Connor Krukowski and Mike Lauber, and Jack Rieke and Tommy), along with Nick Young (Shanholtzer, Martin) and finally Tommy with a flashy goal, appearing to knock a rebound out of midair and into the Huntley net, assisted by Connor.

The Cats fired 41 shots in total, to 17 by Huntley, and dominated play throughout the game. Jeff Martin had a big game with five total points, two goals and three helpers. Justin, Tommy, Jack and Connor also had multipoint games.

Sunday’s win gives the Cats 22 points for the season, good for third place in their division, with a good shot at catching up with rival Conant to seize second place before season’s end. Following Sunday’s game, the Cats have four remaining league games before the playoffs begin, including a make up game versus Crystal Lake South.