October 20th, 2018
Cougars Prepare for Battle of Big Cats
SIUE looks forward to one of the biggest series of the year
By Luke Clevenger
After a split series in Peoria against the Bradley Braves, the Cougars rolled into practice in the East Alton Ice Arena focused. Focused on the admittedly large task ahead of them. The Lindenwood Lions lie ahead of the Cougars, and represent 2 absolutely crucial games this season.
“They are tight. In every zone they are tight, on transition they are tight… They are a difficult team to play against.” Coach Nick Edwards said in his office after practice on Thursday. “But we always play them tight” chimed in Taylor Emerick, followed by Andrew Bond’s assurance that they were ready for whatever lay ahead.
The Lions enter the series at a very strong 7-1 on the year. Their record includes statement blowouts of Maryville University (3-6 on the year) and their tally of 7 wins is tied for the second most in the league. Their lone loss comes from a single game against a 2-1 Aurora University, a team that went 32-0 last year. But that doesn’t mean that Lindenwood is clear of flaws. The Lions have a 3-2 win over Davenport University, a 2-2 team that went 4-20 last season. That game hints at a larger trend. Over their last 5 games, the goal differential for the Lions is +3. The Lions are winning a lot of very close games, and common sports wisdom holds that a 7-1 record is unsustainable if every game is going to be a 1 goal game.
The Cougars are no slouch, either. The Cougars come in with a 6-3 record and 52 Goals, good for top 5 in the league. The Cougars will be Lindenwood’s best offensive opponent to date. The Cougar offense is led by Andrew Bond, who has netted 20 points so far this year with an even 10 Goals and 10 Assists. Alec Pellegrino and Christian Perry have also been crucial to the Cougar offense so far as well, both with 15 points each. No Lindenwood player has more than 13.
Following the series against Lindenwood, the Cougars have another crucial series against McKendree the following weekend. Things won’t get easier, but the Cougars are prepared for this long series of important games.
Game one will be played on Saturday at 7:00 at the East Alton Ice Arena and will also be live streamed on the Cougar Hockey facebook page. Game two will be played at 6:30 pm at Lindenwood.