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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Problematic ice delays game affects Icecats’ play

    Icecats win in shootout vs. ASU.
    Icecats win in shootout vs. ASU.

    The No. 11 Arizona club hockey team was set for a 7:30 pm start to their first home game of the season Friday, but the ice at the Tucson Convention Center had other plans.

    The game started 45 minutes late due to problematic ice in the arena. When the game started, the ice still remained soft and it clearly showed when the Icecats and No. 10 ASU took the ice with players falling everywhere.

    “”This has to be addressed,”” said Icecats head coach Leo Golembiewski. “”This is ridiculous. Look at this ice. It’s supposed to be 11-degree ice. Work on your scheduling, we are an important customer, we’re the anchor.

    “”They don’t build another arena without the Icecats. We have had the same goals for 10 years. This is the tenth straight year we’ve had no brand new netting. This kinda stuff is getting annoying.””

    When the Icecats and ASU did play on Friday and Saturday, play was clearly affected by the ice.

    Both games came down to the wire with the Icecats (7-2) winning on Saturday night in a come-from-behind 2-2 tie capped off by a 1-0 victory in shootout. On Friday the game was quite similar with a 4-4 tie going into shootout, but ASU (4-5) stole the game with a 2-0 shootout victory

    The Icecats were not able to use their speed to their advantage Friday as the soft ice hindered hard skating from both teams all night.

    “”We’ve got a lot of speed this year in (freshman defender Zach) Sampson and (sophomore left winger) Robbie (Nowinski), but we weren’t able to use it that much (Friday),”” junior goalie Luke Edwall said.

    Edwall had a strong night with 34 saves on 38 shots on goals.

    Arizona out shot ASU 60-38 however, but that did not translate to more goals thanks to the strong play of goalie Kyle Bronsteen who had 56 saves, and shut down the Icecats shootout lineup, which went 0-5 on the night.

    Both teams played very physical with big checks and many frustration penalties being thrown at both teams.

    Luke Edwall was strong in the shootout, but ASU put two big goals in the goal early and the Icecats were shut down by Bronsteen’s spectacular play.

    Saturday night’s game played out a little differently. With the normal 7:30 p.m. start and a still soft but improved ice from the night before, ASU jumped out to an early 2-0 lead against the Icecats in the first period.

    Edwall was in net again for Arizona for the second consecutive night.

    Golembiewski made some adjustments by moving Samson back to defense from the wing position in the second and things started to turn around for the Icecats.

    “”I moved Sampson back to help the defense,”” Golembiewski said. “”It’s all about the little things. I tweaked the team tonight, and it worked out.””

    Neither team scored in the second period, but junior co-captian Craig Irwin came up big in the third with two power play goals to tie the game up and force an overtime which eventually led to the shootout.

    Sophomore center Matt Conover made the lone shootout goal for both teams to put Arizona on top.

    That gives the Icecats momentum going into next weekend’s home series against powerhouse No. 4 Oklahoma.

    “”This win wasn’t a hockey win, this win was a guts, heart and soul win,”” Golembiewski said. “”This was the first heart and soul win for the Icecats this season.””

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