Despite a slow start, the Owensboro Rampage offense erupted in the second period Saturday as they took down Louisville Trinity en route to today’s Kentucky High School Hockey League State Championship at the Edge Ice Center.
The Rampage beat the Shamrocks 5-1 behind five goals in the second period, including a pair of goals from Hunter Lehecka and Wyatt Fireline. Lance Crabtree also scored for Owensboro in the dominant victory.
Even with Saturday’s dominant win, Rampage coach Jason Link said they can’t go into Sunday’s matchup with top-seeded Northern Kentucky the same way.
“We can’t play these teams the same,” he said. “It’s a totally different game, a totally different team. We just have to make sure that we stay safe and we don’t get any injuries. We’ve got to stay out of the penalty box, which we did good with today. That’s what it’s going to take. We’ve got to be fast and we have to be consistent.
“It’s our last game of the season. We can take nothing home with us. It’s all got to be on the ice at the end of the game. There can be nothing left. We should have to crawl home. We can heal Monday but Sunday we’ll find our pain.”
Link said they practice visualization and he wants them to picture everything they want to do on the ice when they lay their heads down Saturday night.
He said he wants them to see it into existence.
“If they can get that mindset, then the body follows,” he said. “Tonight, we want to eat for fuel, not fun. We want to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate and do everything we can do to prepare for tomorrow.”
Despite two players scoring multiple goals and a solid night in net from Jake Cissna, Link said it was a complete team win.
“We’re such a tight family,” he said. “We win as a team. We work so well together, our chemistry is so good. If they shut down one player, another player steps up … We’re a unit. We stand out as Rampage and the name on the front means more than the name on the back.”
The Rampage will take on Northern Kentucky at 1 p.m. as they go for back-to-back state championships.
Because of limited capacity at the Edge Ice Center, http://www.jockjive.com is streaming the tournament and will have the title game today.