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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Icecats score 6 goals in 3rd period to cap sweep of ASU

    SCOTTSDALE – The outcome of Friday’s game looked bleak for the Arizona’s men’s club hockey team at the start of the third period. It trailed ASU 4-2 and had been thoroughly outplayed in the second period.

    But the Icecats scored six goals in the third to defeat ASU 8-5, completing a sweep of the two-game series at the Alltel Ice Den.

    “”I’m so proud of my team,”” said Icecats head coach Leo Golembiewski. “”We played a terrible second period, but it wasn’t until be were down 4-1 that we realized the most important ‘U’-word – urgency.

    “”It wasn’t until we were down 4-1 that the complexion of the game changed and we realized that this game has to be played with intensity, dignity and heart.””

    The third period started slow, but with about 10 minutes left the action really picked up. Arizona (2-0) made the score 4-3 on a cross-ice pass from Keith Patterson to Irwin, who buried the puck into the net.

    Within 30 seconds, forward Craig Irwin scored his second goal of the night to knot the game at 4, sending Icecats fans into a frenzy.

    ASU (0-2) temporarily restored order on Jeff Heimel’s second goal of the game to take the lead back at 5-4.

    The Icecats didn’t take long to strike back. Forward Robbie Nowinski scored his second goal of the season, and Arizona took the lead for good when Irwin tickled the twine to earn a hat trick.

    Freshman Jordan Schupan joined the club by scoring the last two goals of the game, one with an empty net.

    “”I’m more excited about the team win,”” Irwin said. “”But it’s always good to get a few goals.””

    The first period was very physical, especially after an ASU player ran into Arizona goalie Nick Boddy after he covered the puck.

    The teams traded goals in the opening frame. The Icecats struck first on a shorthanded goal by Matt Conover, and ASU answered with a goal from Chris Vassos.

    In the second, ASU tried to run away from the Icecats, scoring with a power-play goal from Ryan Clark.

    Minutes later, Arizona thought it had tied the game at 2, only to watch the goal waived off because the net had become dislodged.

    “”I think it was definitely a goal,”” Golembiewski said. “”I saw the puck slide in and the net wasn’t moved, but the reason I think I’m right is because how could you allow our real second goal when there were 17 people in the net, along with the puck?””

    Following the disallowed goal, the Icecats began to fall apart. On a subsequent power-play, Arizona allowed two shorthanded goals within 30 seconds of each other.

    After the fourth goal, Golembiewski pulled Boddy and replaced him with Luke Edwall.

    “”I’m disappointed in Boddy,”” he said. “”He took himself out mentally, but Luke Edwall came in an shut the door.””

    Following ASU’s second shorthanded goal, the Icecats showed great resiliency and slowly battled back, Irwin said.

    “”When it was 4-1 we were all thinking, ‘Here comes the downfall,’ “” Irwin said. “”But we got ourselves composed, got it together and showed what kind of team we really have, and it was great for our team.””

    Near the end of the frame, the Icecats stole back some momentum off of a power-play goal. After a dump into the offensive zone, the puck caromed off of the backboards, past ASU goalie Kyle Bronsteen and slipped away.

    Schupan beat Bronsteen and everyone else to the puck with a diving attempt and put the puck into the back of the net for his first career goal.

    “”It was a team effort tonight,”” Schupan said. “”We moved the puck and we were really working well together.””

    The fans remained loud throughout the game and their continual support boosted the Icecats, Golembiewski said.

    “”We have the greatest fans in the world,”” he said. “”They don’t get nearly enough credit.””

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