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Checking in with UK Hockey Before Xavier

(LEXINGTON, Ky.) — After defeating D-1 Alabama last Saturday, Kentucky jumped to 9-4 on the season. The hockey team will play a home-and-away series against TSCHL conference-mate Xavier this weekend.  

In the win over Alabama, Kentucky’s top line of Gary Eastlack, Gabe D’Amico and Brett Quinn shined. The line combined for four goals and seven assists.  

“We feel great,” Eastlack said of his line, “things have been clicking really well, we’re working together well as a line. Everyone’s contributing, putting pucks in the net, playing well defensively and hopefully we can keep it up going into the weekend. 

When asked if there were any players he expected to have good games, head coach Tim Pergram was quick to mention Eastlack’s line. 

“Eastlack’s kinda in a zone right now,” Pergram said, “Gabe D’Amico, he’s just on fire. Quinn came back out… he really played great on Saturday night.” 

While Pergram went on to compliment the play of his goalies (Lance Giovenco and Sam Tucker) and two defensemen (Tim Burke and Zach Bartuce), he made it clear that the most important thing is the team coming together.  

“The main thing is the whole team is buying in. They’re all buying in and we’re starting to identify our schemes that we’re gonna play and we’re starting to identify our backbone of what we’re gonna be for the season from this point forward,” Pergram said. 

Assistant coach Clay Pergram agreed that the team is finding their identity. 

“They’re a gritty, whistle to whistle team,” he said, “They’re gonna give you all 60 minutes even if the puck’s not bouncing their way. Even if you get a couple goals up on them, they’re not gonna give up, they’re gonna keep fighting.” 

“We’re a fast team and we are physical,” coach Clay Pergram said of the team’s main traits, “as long as I’ve been around and known Kentucky, they’ve always been a fast and physical team and we’re staying true to that identity.” 

Speed is a defining trait for Xavier as well.  

“It’ll be an up-tempo, high-speed game,” said coach Tim Pergram, “They’re fast, they’re skilled, a very smart team on the ice. Their players are very hockey savvy.” 

The team will be in Lexington for another addition of ‘Midnight Mayhem’ on Friday and will travel to Xavier Saturday.

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