Idaho Icecats Dominating Northwest Division

by Charles Woodall-Pike

Idaho may have changed their name over the last offseason but they are still as dominant as ever. The team formerly called the Jr. Steelheads has played for the Thorne Cup for the last seven seasons, winning five times. Now operating as the IceCats, Idaho has opened up a commanding lead in the Northwest Division this season and they are prepared to make another run at the championship.

Idaho has been one of the most difficult places for a visiting team to pick up two points and this season has proved especially frustrating. The IceCats boast one of the best home records in the WSHL, going 18-1-0. The only “home” loss for the IceCats was during the Western States Shootout in Las Vegas, a 3-0 defeat against Colorado. Within the borders of the Gem State, the IceCats been unstoppable, scoring 122 goals in 18 games while yielding only 25 goals to their opponents. Northwest teams will have to overcome this home-ice supremacy as their road to the Thorne Cup Finals is almost guaranteed to go through McCall.

Idaho’s net has been seemingly impenetrable all season long. The IceCats have the second-fewest goals against in the WSHL (El Paso has the fewest) and have posted nine shutouts this season. In 33 games, Idaho has only allowed three goals or more nine times. Leading the efforts in goal have been Jacob Hough and Tyler Matthews. Both Hough and Matthews average fewer than two goals against per game (1.4 for Hough, 1.7 for Matthews) and have save percentages better than .930 (.934 for Hough, .939 for Matthews). With this level of superb goaltending, there is no question that Idaho is a favorite to make another run at the Thorne Cup.