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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Icecats away in search of 3rd straight sweep

    After the dispatching of rival ASU in two close games last weekend, the No. 23 Arizona men’s club hockey team hits the road to face a Weber State squad that played two tough games with them earlier this year.

    The Icecats (18-8-1) played two one-goal games against Weber State (7-15-2) earlier this season, but both teams have been headed in opposite directions since then – Arizona has gone 8-2 and Weber State 2-8.

    The Icecats will be missing a few players due to injury with forward Brandon Robinson out with a thigh bruise and defender Zach Samson out with a hip injury. The team’s two leading scorers – forwards Robbie Nowinski and Matt Conover – both have head-colds but expect them to clear up before tonight’s game.

    Another issue the Icecats have to deal with is their first true road trip since Nov. 2-3. Arizona’s last trip was an adventure- after the Icecats’ flight was delayed they went straight from the airport to the ice and their play suffered as they were swept by
    St. Louis.

    Arizona will again travel on game day, which could affect their play once again, but Nowinski doesn’t think that will be the case this time around.

    “”We always travel on game days, so we’re pretty used to it,”” Nowinski said. “”The guys that have been here awhile know how to prepare for that and we’ll make sure that we’re all ready to go.””

    The Icecats will have to go up against Weber State goalie Kyle Gover, who has been anything but a slouch in the teams’ last meetings.

    In those games Gover did everything aside from stand on his head as he stopped 109 of the 115 Icecat shots he faced over the two games.

    “”They have a really good goalie,”” said UA associate coach Dave Dougall. “”We put a lot of shots on him (the last two times we played them), but they weren’t the kind of quality shots we needed.””

    In order for Arizona to come away with a much needed sweep in Ogden, Utah – which would keep its slim postseason chances alive – it has to find a way to fire off more quality shots, Dougall said.

    Dougall said Arizona needs to get the puck down in deep and have the patience to set up quality shots. It can’t afford to take a lot of bad angle shots and force the issue, so patience and execution will be key to the Icecats chances.

    Arizona too often forced the issue the last two times the team met, resulting in a 3-2 Weber State win one night and a come-from-behind 4-3 Icecat overtime win the following night. Conover said the team shouldn’t have lost the first game, and in order to win Arizona needs to bury the chances it does get, as that was a problem for the Icecats earlier in the season.

    “”We weren’t scoring as well as we are now (the last time we played Weber State) so I think we shouldn’t be troubled by their goalie,”” Nowinski said. “”Right now, our scoring confidence is up there. (Gover) will have to play even better than before to stop us this time.””

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