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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


“Despite losses, Icecats encouraged by youth”

The Icecats may have lost both games of their season-opening series at ASU by a combined score of 10-7, but the young squad appears to have a bright future.

“”We’re proud of the way this team fought and clawed, and I think we gave Arizona State quite a scare,”” head coach Leo Golembiewski said. “”We started our season off against them and gave them more than what they bargained for.””

The Icecats lost the first game by a score of 5-3 on Thursday against the No. 9 Sun Devils and then fell 5-4 in the second game on Friday night. But despite the losses, Golembiewski is optimistic.

“”Obviously they’re ranked ninth in the country and we can play with them without a doubt so we are very pleased with that,”” he said. “”We feel this is a much improved Icecat team and I think the fans are going to love it.””

In the first game, the Icecats led 2-0 after the first period and were tied 3-3 after the second. But in the third period ASU scored a go-ahead goal with 1:30 left.

Golembiewski then decided to pull his goaltender Steven Sisler and put a sixth attacker on the ice. The Icecats, however, weren’t able to score, but allowed the Sun Devils to connect on a meaningless empty-net goal with about 30 seconds left.

Forwards Jordan Schupan, Blake Richards and Jared Lowell each scored a goal in the opener, while Sisler had 81 saves in the series and impressed, according to Golembiewski.

“”Sisler is our No. 1 goaltender and he did a great job in the nets,”” he added. “”He had some great saves and is a great position goaltender. He doesn’t get beat inside or in the crease too much because he’s in position and that is something you can’t teach.””

The second game was similar to the first, but there was an additional opponent for UA. Golembiewski and his squad said they felt the officiating may have been slanted in one direction toward the end of the game.

“”We spent a lot of the third period not only playing a tough ASU team but also some interesting referees,”” he added. “”I’m not one to complain about stuff like that, but definitely saw one color and not both.””

The Icecats led 2-1 at the end of the opening period and then 3-2 after the second. Lowell, and defensemen Mike Basist and Jonathan Watanabe each scored a goal.

Early in the third period, two penalties were called 46 seconds apart giving ASU a two-man advantage. That allowed the Sun Devils to score a pair of power-play goals and take a 4-3 lead.

After the power play was over, ASU scored again, putting the score at 5-3. However, Icecats’ sophomore co-captain Brian Slugocki scored with 3:30 left. Golembiewski opted to pull Sisler again for an extra attacker with 37 seconds left, but the Icecats couldn’t net the puck.

“”I really believe the guys were upset about the fact that the game we feel was stolen away by the referee,”” Golembiewski said. “”We had some chances to put both games away, but we didn’t, which is part of it being a new season and part of execution and all that stuff will come in time.””

The action continued on the ice after time ran out. A bench-clearing brawl broke out after an ASU player pushed an Icecat down. There was also a fight earlier in the game involving Basist and sophomore Scotty Willson. Both will miss the next game because of the disqualification.

“”The bad blood that exists against ASU is certainly existent even more so after those two games,”” Golembiewski said.

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