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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Schupan producing despite rough start

Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Icecats sweep ASU in a 4-3 shootout victory on Sunday at the TCC Arena.  It marked the first shootout victory of the season for the Cats.
Mike Christy
Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat Icecats sweep ASU in a 4-3 shootout victory on Sunday at the TCC Arena. It marked the first shootout victory of the season for the ‘Cats.

Aside from a solid showing in Youngstown, Ohio, not much has gone right for the Arizona Icecats so far this season. Inconsistency has killed this team en route to a 2-5 start.

But amidst all the ups and downs, co-captain Jordan Schupan has been one of the few constants for this Icecats team.

The junior, who was second on the team with 39 points last year, currently leads the team in goals with eight and points with 14 — all in only five games. Schupan is on pace to put up around 48 goals and 84 points this season.

There have only been seven games and there are still 26 games left on the schedule, but Schupan’s production early on is impressive nonetheless.

“”Last year until he got injured, he was scoring quite a few goals as well,”” said associate coach Dave Dougall. “”That’s kind of the role he plays on the team, so he’s going to be looked at to continue that.””

In the Icecats’ two wins this season, Schupan netted four goals and dished out six assists. In the Icecats’ three losses in which he played, Schupan has still produced by scoring four goals in three games.

“”A lot of times he’ll set the tone for the games,”” said freshman line mate Brian Slugocki. “”If he scores a big goal, people like to follow him.””

“”You know he’s one of your main goal scorers, and you feel a little more confident when he’s putting pucks in the net,”” Dougall added.

Schupan has played the majority of this season on the same line as Slugocki and freshman Scotty Willson, a group that has for the most part been successful.

Slugocki has seen his fair share of success playing with Schupan, scoring six goals and three assists, and said he looks at his elder teammate as someone to follow on the ice.

“”He really sets a good example of how to play the game,”” Slugocki said. “”He knows what to expect. That’s one thing I’ve noticed from him — he has a lot of skill and knows how to play the game.””

Dougall believes Schupan is still getting back to full strength after missing the first two games of the season with pneumonia. Icecats fans can expect his production to continue when the team plays its home opener Nov. 6 against Eastern Washington University.

But for Schupan, who said he was embarrassed after the team was swept in Las Vegas, that production means absolutely nothing unless the team is winning.

“”My game’s feeling all right personally, but when we lose it really doesn’t matter whether I have a hat trick or not, I still feel the same way,”” he said. “”Unless we come out with a win, it’s not fun to be in the locker room after.””

Schupan has been very productive despite a rough start to the season, but as is the case for the Icecats as a group, winning is all that’s on his mind.

“”Right now, where we’re at is unacceptable,”” Schupan said. “”We need to have a turnaround, and it needs to start with the first two home games.””

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