Kentucky Hockey steadily building a winning culture

Posted at 6:45 PM, Jan 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-11 15:34:52-05

The Kentucky Hockey team began its second half of the season Thursday night at the Barn (Lexington Ice Center).

And this year, the team has hopes of making a deep run into the postseason. Hopes like this never used to be on the table.

Taking a look back at 2016, the team skated off the ice with a 3-20 record, and the program looked to be hanging on by a thread.

"It was kind of starting to die at the end of my freshman, sophomore year," said Jimmy Kasch, who is now a senior forward and captain for Kentucky.

When things get bad, you make some changes.

In comes Time Pergram prior to the start of the 2017 season. And the beginning of a winning culture began.

"It was a difficult program to take over," said Pergram. "The players on the team had a great attitude, they just wanted to win. They had lost a lot of games. Once they learned what winning was like, what it took, the dedication, the hard work, the intensity, the commitment. They were fine."

Let's put some quick things into perspective. Over the last decade, the Kentucky Hockey program has 120 wins.

Pergram has 46 of those wins since taking over in 2017. He also led them to back-to-back 20-win seasons his first two years.

"Our program has gone nothing but up all thanks to TP and the amazing staff he's built behind him," said Kasch. "The program has been really fun to play in."

Oh, this program also has a pretty unique tradition that you may not see anywhere else.

They don't drop the puck until midnight during home games at the Barn and call it Midnight Mayhem.

And if you haven't been to one before, you should probably consider it.

"It's awesome. You get out there and everyone is yelling. 600, 700, 800 kids out there cheering," said Kentucky sophomore forward and assistant captain, Gary Eastlack. "There's nothing like it, really. Until you experience it, you really don't know what it's like and then once you're a part of it, you don't want it to change."

Kentucky will be at home each Friday and Saturday night until February 1st. The puck will drop at midnight for each game. GO TO ONE!