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A Hat Trick, Kash Daniel and Another Kentucky Win

(LEXINGTON, Ky.) — A Dan Quartapella hat trick helped lift Kentucky to a 9-1 win over conference-rival Xavier.  

Former Kentucky football great Kash Daniel was in attendance and did the ceremonial puck drop.  

“What can I say about UK hockey, they’ve treated me like family,” Daniel said, “I always try to come to as many games as I can.” 

The Wildcats raced out of the gates to score just 16 seconds into the game. Gabe D’Amico scored the goal off a pass from line-mate Brett Quinn. 

“We just knew that we had to come out flying… Gary (Eastlack) chipped it by, Brett (Quinn) got the puck, two-on-one, easy goal,” D’Amico said. 

The Eastlack-Quinn-D’Amico line was on fire the whole night. The line combined for four goals and five assists.  

“Gary (Eastlack) and Quinn and Gabe (D’Amico) are playing very, very smart hockey, very effective hockey,” head coach Tim Pergram said of his top line, “They know where each other is gonna be. They’re just playing off of it very, very well. They’re fun to watch.”  

Quartapella was the next Wildcat to strike. He rebounded Drew Carlson’s shot and put the puck back up for his first goal of the night.  

In the second period, the freshman forward struck again. He scored once again off a rebound, this time off of Kaden Boots’ shot.  

Quartapella completed his hat trick with a wrist shot that snuck past the goalie’s blocker.  

“It feels really good,” Quartapella said of his hat trick, “but more importantly it feels good to win as a team.”  

Sam Tucker got the start in net for the Wildcats. Tucker saved 46 of 47 shots for a 97% save average. With 13 penalties called against Kentucky, the netminder was called upon for plenty of shorthanded saves. 

“It’s nice to get the work,” Tucker said, “I like having that man-down mentality, it’s like ‘ok, now it’s my job to step up and make a big save for the team.’” 

Kentucky will play at Xavier tomorrow afternoon at 1:00. The Cats will return home next Saturday for a game against Bowling Green St. 

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