Wildcats Strike Early and Not So Often in Loss to Alabama (Photo Credit Jake Maynard)
(LEXINGTON, Ky.) — The Wildcats struck early, but ultimately fell 2-1 against Division-1 Alabama.
Dan Quartapella scored a little more than three and a half minutes into the first period for Kentucky’s first and only goal of the game.
“I jumped in front of (Tim Burke), called for it, he gave me a pass, the goalie went down so I just put it forehand, back hand, put it in,” Quartapella said of his goal.
Quartapella found the back of the net again with just under five minutes left in the first period, but the goal was called back for kicking.
Goalie Lance Giovenco was perfect through the first 20 minutes of play. He stopped all 14 Alabama shots in the first period, including two breakaways.
“Nothing really,” Giovenco said in response to what was going through his mind during his perfect first period, “I was just kinda on autopilot at that point,”
Alabama’s Jake Furry ended Giovenco’s perfect night with eight minutes left in the second period.
With the exception of the one goal, all the fireworks in the second came from hits and not scores. About halfway through the period, Alabama’s John Chiarelli took offense from a hit by Kentucky’s Gabe D’Amico and retaliated. Chiarelli hit D’Amico and had to be restrained by an official. Both players were given minor penalties.
The fireworks were not done yet. Less than 10 seconds after play resumed, Alabama’s Brian Seybold was sent to the penalty box for hitting Kentucky freshman Kyle McElhaney with a knee. The Wildcats were able to put up several shots on goal during the 4-on-3 advantage but did not score.
The teams entered the third period tied at one. Alabama’s Furry broke the tie with just under 13 minutes left in the game. Kentucky took back the momentum but was not able to mount a comeback.
Kentucky goaltender Giovenco ended the game with 33 saves on 35 shots faced, or a 94.28 save percentage.
The Wildcats will return to the ice tomorrow at midnight for round two with Alabama.