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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


“Icecats split series with Colorado, snap 5-game skid”

Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat

The Icecats were blanked by the University of Colorado Buffaloes 0-4 Friday night at the Tucson Convention Center.

Saturday night was a different story as the Cats held on for 2-1 victory over Colorado.
Mike Christy
Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat The Icecats were blanked by the University of Colorado Buffaloes 0-4 Friday night at the Tucson Convention Center. Saturday night was a different story as the ‘Cats held on for 2-1 victory over Colorado.

Heading into their two-game series against the University of Colorado, the Arizona Icecats were battling a four-game losing streak, with no set goaltender and few successful line combinations.

The Icecats had scored only seven goals in the previous four games. To say that they were struggling offensively would be an understatement.

In game one, they had opportunities, 51 shots on goal, but were unable to get past Colorado goalie Kevin Litinsky.

“”I haven’t seen a goaltender like this all year, that was able to shut the door like he did,”” associate coach Dave Dougall said. “”This guy was the best I’ve seen in a while.””

“”The story of tonight’s game was their goalie,”” head coach Leo Golembiewski added after game one. “”He was the answer tonight.””

Colorado’s goalie was spectacular, and Icecats’ goalie junior Nick Taylor wasn’t able to build on his solid career debut against Eastern Washington. Colorado went up one to nothing 3:50 into the first period and never looked back.

Colorado added another goal in the first period, and two more in the second, resulting in a 4-0 victory.

After being knocked around the ice during the first game, the Icecats came out with much more energy and determination in game two.

“”If you’re going to make any dent in having a positive season, first you have to have confidence that you can actually beat them, then you have to start beating them,”” said Dougall. “”This was the first step in the right direction.””

The Icecats allowed Colorado to score 7:54 into the first period, but answered with big hit after big hit.

After game one, sophomore defenseman Geordy Weed said, “”The first hit in a game sets the tone, and quite frankly we’re not really throwing our bodies like we should. Once we start throwing our bodies, we’ll gain some confidence and get some shots on the net and hopefully be able to find the back of the net.””

The Icecats did exactly that. After a barrage of glass-rattling hits and a couple of penalties for misconduct, senior defenseman Austin Capobianco netted a power play goal off of a Brian Slugocki miss.

The energy in the Tucson Convention Center immediately picked up, and the Icecats’ scoring slump finally came to an end. You could see the weight lifted off of the Icecats’ collective shoulders as Capobianco and his line mates exploded in celebration.

“”It didn’t seem like it was ever going to happen,”” Dougall said.

Almost a full period later freshman Adam Treptow converted on another rebound attempt, which would prove to be the eventual game winner.

“”We haven’t buried any garbage goals lately so that was huge,”” Treptow said. “”I’m glad someone stepped up and I guess it had to be me eventually.””

Although the two goals were huge, the story of the game came from the other side of the ice. The defense was fantastic in front of freshman goaltender Dave Herman, allowing zero goals in the final 52 minutes on their way to a 2-1 victory.

Coming into the game, the Icecats had allowed an average of 5.5 goals per game, but all seven defenseman who played were active and aggressive.

“”Everybody was into the game and everybody was intense and sick and tired of losing,”” Dougall said. “”I think I saw an effort that I haven’t seen a lot of in these guys — blocking, diving, getting the stick in the way.””

The defense was stellar, killing all six of Colorado’s power plays, and for the first time all season, the Icecats had consistent goaltending to go along with it.

Herman, who has started six games this season, stopped 55 of Colorado’s 56 shots and provided a lift that the Icecats had been missing all season.

“”He finally stepped it up and I’m glad,”” Treptow added “”The whole team is behind him now, hopefully he can keep it up and just keep rolling.””

After the final buzzer sounded, the entire team crowded around Herman in celebration. Herman was outstanding, the defense was inspired and the offense finally put a few pucks in the net. But most importantly, the Icecats got a win.

“”I’m very proud of the fact that we were able to have the stamina and determination, we were determined to win,”” Golembiewski said. “”Huge victory for the guys.””

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