Icers advance to national tournament
February 18, 2008 —
At the start of their season, the club hockey team knew they would go far. And they have.
The team took part in the regional tournament over the weekend at TheDow Event Center, beating Northern Kentucky on Friday and Lansing Community College on Saturday, securing their ticket to the national championships in Minnesota next month.
Friday night the Cardinals routed Northern Kentucky 11-5 after a close game through the first two periods despite five Saginaw goals in the first. Assistant captain Jake Trombley commented on the team's play.
"We played pretty shaky the first period, but put it all together in the 3rd."
Junior defenseman Chris McGuire scored the first goal assisted by forward freshmen Brandon Clary and Chris Tibaudo. Junior forward Matt Fogal notched Saginaw's second goal and Tibaudo scored the third late into the first, assisted by sophomore defenseman Pat Miller.
The Norsemen were able to slip two goals past Saginaw goalie Brad Altenbernt during the period but could not catch up.
With just under seven minutes left in the period, Trombley scored a fourth goal assisted by senior forwards Brian Jensen and Nate Engstrom.
The team stayed strong through the remainder of the period with a 5-2 lead, the fifth and final goal of the period scored by Miller, assisted by freshman defensemen Kaleb Grapp and junior forward Doug Greene.
The second period allowed two more goals for Northern Kentucky, bringing them back within one. Grapp brought the team up 6-4 late into the period assisted by McGuire.
The Cardinals allowed only one more goal to the Norsemen during the third period, but gained five more for themselves with a final score of 11-5. Tibaudo, Jensen, junior forward Matt Fogal and sophomore defenseman Jason Sugden brought the five goals in the third.
"It still wasn't our best game but we still a solid game when we needed one," Greene said. "We took it period by period and didn't worry about who we played next. We don't worry about the next period or what the refs said. We try not to let that affect us."
Saturday night the Cardinals continued through the regional tournament against Lansing Community College. With goals from Tibaudo and Greene, the Cardinals kept a 2-0 lead after the first period.
A Lansing penalty led to a power-play goal by Greene, his second of the game, late into the second period. Lansing was given several power plays but they could not score on Cardinal goalie Alan Fritch.
Lansing finally joined the Cardinals on the board eight minutes into the third period with a shorthanded goal. Fritch continued to block all shots taken by Lansing as the fourth and fifth Saginaw goals were scored, both on power plays by Tibaudo and Engstrom. With 49 seconds left on the clock, Lansing slipped the puck in one last time leaving the final score 5-2.
"I feel we could have played a little more sound but we'll take the win," Trombley said. "We locked things down on Saturday which is what matters."
The team then looked on to prepare for the next step to a national championship.
"Our ability as a team wasn't fully shown but it was still a very well played game," Greene said.
"We get to play a couple more times against teams that will be in nationals so we will be able to fine tune everything in the next few games."