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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Odds against Icecats in Tempe

Colin Darland/Arizona Daily Wildcat

The Arizona Icecats took on the UNLV Lobos at Tucson Convention Center Arena Saturday January 23, 2010. The Icecats downed the Lobos 6 to three in one of the more physical games of the season.
Colin Darland
Colin Darland/Arizona Daily Wildcat The Arizona Icecats took on the UNLV Lobos at Tucson Convention Center Arena Saturday January 23, 2010. The Icecats downed the Lobos 6 to three in one of the more physical games of the season.

Heading into this weekend’s two-game series against ASU in Tempe, the Arizona Icecats have almost everything stacked against them.

Consider this: the Icecats haven’t been able to practice all week because of the lack of ice time at the Tucson Convention Center, ASU (21-6-3) is the No. 8 team in the American Collegiate Hockey Association and the Sun Devils will be at home in the Oceanside Ice Rink.

The Icecats (10-12) have dropped the first four games of the season to ASU.

But to an Icecats team thirsting for a win against the maroon and gold, none of that matters.

“”We’re just really hungry for a win against them,”” said junior forward Jordan Schupan. “”We can’t make any excuse that we don’t have practice. Since we don’t have a choice, we’re just going to have to deal with it.””

The Icecats have missed valuable practice time because of the Gem and Mineral show for each of the past three seasons. The majority of the players stay fresh with lifting and cardio workouts, but none of that is a substitute for time on the ice.

“”The hard part is keeping the confidence in your stick-handling and shot — the confidence you have with the puck when you’re not skating, it’s a lot harder,”” Schupan said. “”You could do as much lifting and cardio as you want, but there’s some on-ice things that you can’t really replicate off of the ice.””

These types of situations are out of the team’s control. The only thing on the the UA club hockey team’s mind is avenging the first four games of the season between these two squads.

The Icecats have beaten ASU fairly easily in previous years, but, this season, the Sun Devils have turned the tide. ASU shut out the Icecats in UA’s first game of the season, but five key Icecat players were out with injuries.

The Icecats played a tight second game without six of their players but ultimately lost 6-4. The mid-December series in Tucson felt very similar to the first. ASU won convincingly in game one (7-1) and just squeaked by the Icecats in game two (6-4).

“”Those games didn’t give a true measure of what our team was out of the shoot,”” head coach Leo Golembiewski said of the team’s first series against ASU. “”As far as in December, we had played pretty well up until those. It was an issue of not playing as well defensively as we can and not getting the goaltending we needed.””

Freshman goaltender David Herman will be huge for the Icecats this weekend. He will need to set the tone early by keeping things tight if the Icecats hope to have any chance.

“”I think he’s the key to beating ASU,”” said associate coach Dave Dougall.

“”Our success is going to emanate out of the nets,”” Golembiewski added. “”We have to get solid goaltending.””

The Icecats should have some confidence after playing their most complete game in weeks in a 6-3 win against University of Nevada-Las Vegas. Along with that confidence comes a sense of pride in not allowing ASU to take another step towards a season sweep.

“”We do not want to let them sweep us because that just gives them bragging rights,”” said sophomore defenseman Geordy Weed. “”The best we can do is work hard and try and get that win that everyone’s striving for.””

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