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Ice Cats end 2023 season with heartbreak

Coming into the 2022-23 season the Greater Latrobe Ice Cats had high expectations. The team was full of veterans, fourteen seniors to be exact, and knew that this was the program's best shot at making the PIHL finals. This would not be a cakewalk, however, as they were competing with incredibly talented teams in the PIHL AA such as Armstrong and Thomas Jefferson. However, a team led by head coach Josh Werner is not a team that should ever be taken lightly.

That statement rang true right out of the gate with the Ice Cats winning their home opener on Octobe 6th against rival Franklin Regional 8-2. Greater Latrobe then won the home game the following week against Hempfield 5-1. The fun stopped when Armstrong came to town and the Riverhawks walked away with a 5-1 win over the Ice Cats at Kirk S. Nevin Arena. November was an up and down month for the Ice Cats as they had two wins and two losses. Greater Latrobe roared into December with a 12-0 win over Bishop Mcort and a 7-2 win over Meadville. Ice Cats would drop the next two games, against South Fayette and Armstrong, and close out 2022 with a 7-2 win over Hempfield.

Heading into 2023, the Ice Cats had a record of 7-5 and were a top five team in the PIHL AA. Greater Latrobe wanted to stay in the top five and helped their hopes with a 6-0 win against the Mars Fighting Planets at the Bariel Ice Complex on January 2nd. The Ice Cats then won two of the next three games in January of 2023. The final month of the season, February, was tough for Greater Latrobe. After losing to Penn-Trafford on February 2nd, which was Senior Night for the Ice Cats, Greater Latrobe would only win one of three games in February. The final game of the season, a loss to South Fayette, set up the Ice Cats for a road game in the first round of the 2023 PIHL AA Playoffs. Penn-Trafford and Thomas Jefferson would end up winning their games to end the season and pushed Greater Latrobe to number six in the PIHL AA. This set up the Ice Cats to have a rematch with the Bishop McCort Crimson Crushers in the first round of playoffs.

On March 7th, the Greater Latrobe Ice Cats traveled up to 1st Summit Arena in Johnstown, Pennsylvania and clashed with Bishop McCort. The game was a true back and forth between very well matched teams that had to be decided in overtime. Eventually, the Crimson Crushers were able to come out on top 3-2, and the Ice Cats had a very long ride home.

The sky high expectations for the Ice Cats turned out to be all for not. It is tough to point out what exactly led to the demise of the 2022-23 season but it can be noted that The Wildcats Network wish the fourteen seniors the best in all their future endeavors.

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