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Varsity Cats Look to Build on Solid Season March 9, 2010

Posted by claugh217 in General, Varsity.
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Sure, the varsity Icecats season ended on a down note with its loss last week to rival Conant. But looking back on the full season, it’s hard to call it anything but a success. And more to the point, the team has an opportunity to become one of the elites of the Metro league next season.

The numbers by and large tell the story. A 12-7-4 regular season record. A trip to the semi-finals at the Big Bear tournament in January. A berth in the upper tier Scholastic Cup playoffs, and a commanding 9-1 first round victory in the Blackhawk Cup state playoff tournament. The Cats were well represented in All Star competition, sending Justin Antolec, Brad Feinman, Connor Krukowski, and Tommy Tambourine (with strong skating defenseman Joey VanderMey as an alternate) to the All Star preliminary round, with Justin and Tommy advancing to the finals.

The season was not without its travails. After a strong 5-2-1 start, the team suffered a series of injuries and suspensions that contributed to a short but very deflating losing streak, dropping games to Mundelein, CCM and BGHW by a combined score of 22-4. The team then had a so-so outing at the Stevenson Thanksgiving tournament, dropping two of three games.

Click on the image to launch video.

Things started to pick up after Thanksgiving, with the team going 0-1-3 before a turning point game against Fremd on December 13. The Cats beat Fremd 2-1 on top of a huge game by goalie Erich Held, who turned back 33 shots for the win. That win set off a seven game winning streak that ended on the final game of the season, a close 4-3 loss to Crystal Lake South, a league powerhouse. The Cats ended the regular season with 28 points and a second place finish in the Metro Central National division.

The playoffs were a disappointment, going 1-3 in the Scholastic Cup and losing in the second round of the Blackhawk Cup 3-0 to Conant, a team the Cats had competed well against in the regular season.

Still, looking ahead, there is plenty of cause for optimism.

With most players eligible to return, the Cats can look forward to a strong season next year. Overall scoring leader and captain Tambourine (28 points) and leading goal scorer Antolec (17 goals) are juniors, and assist leader Jeff Martin (19 assists, 27 points) is a sophomore, as is tough guy Tyler Shanholtzer (11 points). Forward Peter Henderson, who had 16 regular season points as a freshman, looks like a future league scoring leader.

The strong defensive corps of Feinman, VanderMey, Matt Majewski and Stephen Stanis are all all eligible to return as well. Feinman, an assistant captain and an All Star as a sophomore, was a shutdown defenseman all season. Matt was a consistent physical force, while Stephen made what may have been the defensive play of the season against Carmel, sweeping away a puck late the in the game to preserve a tie.

Forwards Ian Donnahoo, Jack Reike (16 points), Tony Rossetti and Nick Young (7 goals) should all be back for their senior seasons. Tony is  a consistent source of speed, energy and toughness on the  forecheck. Ian has proven himself a versatile player, even filling in at defense when needed. He is also arguably the team’s best penalty killer. Nick, an assistant captain, is also a top penalty killer, a presence in front of the net, and an accomplished pest, drawing penalties from irritated opponents. Jack is a consistent and hardworking forward, with a knack for scoring clutch goals.

And finally, talented netminders  Erich Held and Max Laughlin, both juniors, are expected to return, offering depth at that important position next season. Both had winning records this year.

The Cats are losing three key players to graduation. Hard nosed defenseman Mike Lauber, smooth skating forward Krukowski (25 points) and energy forward Greg Majewski will all be missed. Their depatures will open up opportunities for current JV players or newcomers to move up and make a difference at the varsity level.

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Watch the Icecats Take on Carmel March 8, 2010

Posted by claugh217 in General, Varsity.
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The Varsity Icecats January 22 home game against Carmel Catholic has been posted on LHS’s CAT-TUBE. You can watch the video by clicking here, or on the image below.

Watch the Icecats Take on Jacobs February 15, 2010

Posted by claugh217 in General, Varsity.
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The Varsity Icecats’ successful final regular season home game vs. Jacobs is now available for viewing on LHS-TUBE. Click onthe image to view the video.

Varsity Cats Qualify for Scholastic Cup Playoffs February 6, 2010

Posted by claugh217 in General, Varsity.
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For the second year in a row, the Varsity Icecats have qualified for the Scholastic Cup playoffs in the Metro League. The playoffs are divided into two classes, Scholastic and Founders, with the more accomplished teams playing at the Scholastic level. This means the Varsity Cats will have a competitive field in the playoffs, facing Jacobs, Barrington, Crystal Lake South and Cary Grove. The varsity team’s play, especially since Thanksgiving, shows they are up for the challenge.

The Icecats finished the regular season in second place of the Metro Central National division with a 12-7-4 record. Since the Thanksgiving break, the team has gone 7-2-3.

Here is what head coach Efren Heredia had to say:

“The Coaches and the varsity team are very proud of making the Scholastic Division of the Metro playoffs for the second consecutive season. We are not sure of the last time this happened or if the club has ever achieved this. Our record with the 4 teams we will be opposing is 2-2. We lost to Barrington at their rink 3-1 and Crystal Lake South 4-3. Last year, we tied Barrington. The playoffs should be very competitive and exciting!”

Here is the current Metro playoff schedule:

Monday- 2/8- Icecats vs. Jacobs – 8:40 @ Glacier

Friday- 2/12 – Icecats vs Barrington- 8:40 @ Glacier

Saturday- 2/13- Crystal Lake South  vs. Icecats-  8:10 @ Crystal Lake Ice House

Monday- 2/15- Cary Grove vs Icecats- 6:50 @ Barrington

The varsity Cats also will participate in the single elimination Blackhawk Cup tournament. The Cats’ first match up will be at 8:40 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 19 against Morton/Washington at Glacier.

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

Posted by claugh217 in General, Varsity.
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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.

BOX SCORE

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

Posted by claugh217 in General, Varsity.
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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

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.

JV Cats Advance to All Star Finals December 19, 2009

Posted by claugh217 in General, Junior Varsity.
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Four junior varsity players and one alternate have advanced to the final roster for the JV All Star game on January 31. Named to the team were forwards Patrick Quinn, Scott Miller and David Vieth, and defenseman Shawn Rieke. Defenseman Jake Goldwater was named an alternate. Congratulations to all the JV all stars.

Antolec, Tambourine Advance to All Star Finals December 12, 2009

Posted by claugh217 in General, Varsity.
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Varsity Icecats forwards Justin Antolec and Tommy Tambourine, both juniors, have been named to the Metro Central Varsity All Star squad. The All Star game takes place on January 31. The two were chosen based on their performance in the All Star qualifying game held Dec. 5 in Crystal Lake. Tommy and Justin are tied for the team lead in scoring, each with 14 points through 14 league games. Congratulations to both players.