Hockey looks to rebound from last season

Keith Hartmann, Contributing Writer

The Pitt-Johnstown Ice Cats won their home opener Friday against the Saint Vincent Polar Bearcats.

Following a pipe burst at the Johnstown War Memorial Arena last week, the game was moved to the Ebensburg Recreation Center.

This season, the UPJ Ice Cats face an uphill battle, having lost their first line and 10 players overall.

Last year’s season ended in a loss to California University of Pennsylvania’s Vulcans in the College Hockey East League semifinals.

They were also invited to the American Collegiate Hockey Association regionals, where they fell to the Southern Connecticut Ice Owls in the first round.

Ten freshmen were recruited this season. According to sophomore captain David Kutzer, the team intends to outwork their opponents this year rather than relying on talent.

Senior alternate captain Paul Ciotti said he feels the team is more defensively minded this year than in previous seasons, and feels confident in the scoring potential of new players.

The team is to play a 31-game season this year, including 14 home games to be played at the War Memorial Arena.