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Kentucky Hockey leaves for National Championships in Boston

By Tyler Thompson,

2023-03-15
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Photo via Kentucky Hockey

The Kentucky Hockey team qualified for the ACHA National Championships for the first time since 2008, and thanks to the generosity of the Big Blue Nation, the Cats are now on their way to Boston.

Kentucky clinched the No. 3 seed in the Southeast in the Division II Championships, but, as a club team that is not supported by the University, didn’t have the funding to make the trip. So, they started a GoFundMe and partnered with several local businesses in hopes of raising the $80,000 they needed for travel, hotels, food, and much more.

In just two weeks, they did it. The t-shirts they sold through a partnership with Shop Local Kentucky raised $30,000 alone.

“We trusted our fans, the community, to get behind us, and they did. We’re very thankful for that,” forward Gary Eastlack told WKYT.

Kentucky holds a 29-6 record this season, the most wins in program history. The Wildcats swept 10 teams throughout, including three wins over the Louisville Cardinals. The Cats are led by Tim Pergram, who was named the TSCHL (Tri-State Collegiate Hockey League) Coach of the Year. The scene at home matches are epic and, to Pegram, proof that the program is here to stay.

“When we have games here, it’s a sellout within the first 15 minutes,” Coach Tim Pegram said. “This is a 40-year-old program that’s been very, very successful. Yes, it’s been 15 years since we’ve been at Nationals, but we’re back now. And we don’t plan on leaving for quite a while.”

The Wildcats left for Boston this morning. Their first match is Friday, March 17 in Boston at 11:00 a.m. EST against the No. 2 seed University of Saint Thomas. The Final Four begins on Monday, March 20. All games will be streamed on HockeyTV.

Go Cats. You can still buy those t-shirts, by the way.

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