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Watch the Icecats Take on Jacobs February 15, 2010

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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 Icecats Take Lead Into 3rd, but Fall to CLS February 14, 2010

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The Varsity Icecats would have been better off skipping the second period intermission Saturday night in Crystal Lake. The Cats were on a roll, leading arguably the best team in Metro Central 3-2 at the end of two. The break gave CLS a chance to rest and regroup and they came out with a vengeance in the third, jumping all over every Cats mistake to put the game away with a four goal onslaught. It was a heartbreaker, and a lesson in why no lead is safe until the game ends, particularly against a team of Crystal Lake’s caliber. Still, there was a lot to praise.

The Icecats showed up to play, surviving an early goal against before tying it up at 7:36 when Joey VanderMey made a sweet tape to tape hail mary pass to Justin Antolec. Justin flew down the ice, faked and then buried his breakaway chance. Brad Feinman also assisted on the play. It looked like the period would end with a tie but with seconds left, CLS star forward Eric Purcell flipped a backhander just under the crossbar to take the lead. It was his second goal of the night and he was far from finished.

The second period was all about the Icecats powerplay. First it was Jeff Martin showing why he can stickhandle with the league’s best. He maneuvered himself into the slot and backhanded it over the goalie’s shoulder to tie it up. One minute later, Connor Krukowski blindly flung a rebound off Tommy Tambourine’s shot past the CLS netminder for the go ahead goal. Goalie Max Laughlin helped keep the Cats in the lead by stopping all 13 CLS shots in the second. He ended the night with 28 saves.

The third period was a disaster. It began when the Cats took a penalty at 11:19, and seconds into the powerplay Purcell walked untouched into the slot and buried a wrister top shelf for a hat trick. Purcell added his fourth goal at 5:55 when he picked up the puck at the blueline at the end of a Cats powerplay and flew down the ice for a breakaway goal. The game ended in a 6-3 loss.

The Cats did have some chances to make the game closer. A second period breakaway by Ian Donnahoo just missed the crossbar, and a third period penalty shot by high-energy freshman forward Peter Henderson was poke checked away at the last instant by the CLS goaltender. Kudos to Ian and Hendo for the hustle it took to generate these chances. Next time.

The Cats finish out the Metro Central playoffs in Barrington Monday against Cary Grove. The Cats’ Blackhawks Cup tournament begins Friday night at 8:40 at Glacier.


Late Penalty Thwarts Comeback vs. Barrington February 13, 2010

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The Varsity Icecats fell 4-1 to Barrington Friday night Glacier in a Metro Central Scholastic playoff game that generated combined 55 penalty minutes. The game was, as the old cliche goes, “closer than the score indicated.” After falling behind 2-0 through two periods, team captain Tommy Tambourine continued to show himself to be Mr. Clutch, scoring a short sider with nine minutes remaining in the game, pulling the Cats within one with plenty of time left on the clock. Unfortunately, a cross checking penalty with four minutes left squashed the Cats’ momemtum, and Barrington scored its third on a rebound on the power play. The Broncos poked one more in with a minute left to seal the deal.

The game demonstrated there is little love lost between the teams. Of the 55 penalty minutes assessed, 31 came with less than three minutes left in the game. Tyler Shanholtzer, coming to the aid of a teammate getting roughed up along the boards, took a fighting major and game misconduct with time winding down. He is expected to sit for three games. With the season nearing the end, the Cats need to advance in the Blackhawk Cup to give Shanny a chance to get back on the ice this year.

A number of other players showed real heart and hustle in the game. The energy line of Tony Rossetti, Ian Donnahoo and Greg Majewski skated hard all night. And even though the Cats gave up 44 shots, the defense led by Brad Feinman, Joey VanderMey, Matt Majewski and Stephen Stanis, did well to limit the chances of Barrington’s fast and skilled forwards. The Cats penalty killers managed to negate several 5 on 3 power plays, preventing the game from getting out of hand. And finally, goalie Erich Held withstood a 24-shot second period onslaught with only one goal against, an effort that allowed his team to have a fighting chance going in the third period.

Tonight, the Icecats face another challenge against Crystal Lake South at 8:10 in Crystal Lake. Monday night, the play their final game in the qualifying round against Cary-Grove.


Varsity Falls in Playoff Opener February 10, 2010

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Photo by Studio West, Libertyville

The Varsity Icecats lost their playoff opener against Jacobs 4-1 at home Monday night, digging a bit of a hole for the team, which still must faces Barrington, Crystal Lake South and Cary Grove on their quest to advance to the finals.

The Cats skated hard but seemed a bit out of synch Monday, lacking the crisp passing and playmaking that characterized their successful stretch run of the regular season. The Cats got on the board first at 7:42 in the opening frame when Tyler Shanholtzer snuck one past the far post and off the goaltender’s skate, with an assist from Ian Donnahoo.

Jacobs evened it up at 3:24 and the first ended with a 1-1 tie. Things went south in the second with consecutive tallies by Jacobs. A goalie switch after the third goal seemed to spur the defense to play better, but the Cats could not generate any offense, despite a strong effort from forwards Peter Henderson, Tony Rossetti and Jeff Martin, among others. Jacobs added one more in the third and that was all she wrote.

The last time the Cats faced Jacobs, they won 6-1. In that match, Jacobs was missing five players to suspension. Jacobs had all but two back Monday night and they seemed to be a better team, and were probably motivated to make up for that humiliating loss.

Next up is Barrington, which comes to Vernon Hills to face the Cats at 8:40 on Friday night. Barrington won the season’s only matchup 3-1, a close, chippy game on the Bronco’s turf. The Cats will need to be ready for a fast, physical game.

The Icecats are competing in the Metro Central Scholastic division of the playoffs. The top two teams in the division will advance to the quarterfinals on Feb. 20, where the top qualifying teams from the Northwest and West divisions will also compete. The semifinals take place February 24 and the finals on Feb. 28 at the Northbrook Ice Arena.


Varsity Cats Qualify for Scholastic Cup Playoffs February 6, 2010

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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 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

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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

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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.