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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Icecats’ Taylor finally gets shot

Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat

The Icecats fell to Eastern Washington by a final of 1-6 Friday night at their home opener at Tucson Convention Center.
Mike Christy
Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat The Icecats fell to Eastern Washington by a final of 1-6 Friday night at their home opener at Tucson Convention Center.

The end result was a 5-2 loss, but a loss never felt so good for junior goaltender Nick Taylor. With the Icecats’ goalie situation still up in the air, Taylor made his starting debut last Saturday against Eastern Washington with hopes of finally solidifying the spot between the pipes for the Icecats.

Taylor has been a part of teams with former standout Icecat goalies Luke Edwall and Nick Boddy. During that time, he sat back and waited his turn, but that opportunity didn’t come as quickly as imagined.

After losing Boddy to graduation, Taylor’s junior year seemed like his time to step into a starting role. However, the coaching staff chose to go with 21-year-old freshman Dave Herman in the season opener. Herman had some success in six games this season, but a knee injury and inconsistent play slowed his production.

Fellow freshman Ben Case got some looks in the net, but he allowed 11 goals in 66 total minutes. So last weekend in game two against Eastern Washington, the goalie carrousel stopped on Taylor.

“”It’s been a long time coming,”” Taylor said after the game. “”Ever since my freshman year I could only dream of playing.””

Taylor hadn’t dressed a game or traveled with the team all season, and only played nine minutes as a sophomore last season. After game one, Taylor got a call from Head Coach Leo Golembiewski, telling him he would be dressing in game two.

Taylor was told before warm-ups that he would be starting in goal. After sitting behind some of the greatest goalies in the Icecats’ history only to be the team’s third goalie at the start of the season, Taylor was finally given a chance.

The team lost 5-1, but the Stamford, Conn., product kept the game competitive by not allowing a goal until halfway through the second period. The Icecats were trailing 2-0 going into the third, and if the Icecats offensive attack could have connected on a few more of their 40 shots on goal, Taylor might just have been victorious.

“”He gave us a chance to win the whole game, which is the goalie’s only job,”” said graduate assistant and last year’s goalie Nick Boddy. “”You can’t give shut outs every time, you have to get some goals too, so he did his job.””

“”He did a great job,”” added Golembiewski.

Taylor was finally given his shot, and made the best of it.

“”It was great to see him play well,”” Boddy said. “”Everyone was kind of looking forward to seeing how well he did, and if he could do well enough to try and pull out a W, and he did, he did his job.””

Boddy, who holds the Icecats’ highest all-time save percentage and most career points for a goaltender, has been working with Taylor, as well as the other goaltenders in practice.

“”He’s given me a lot of tips, especially lately,”” Taylor said. “”He told me to just play within my ability, and don’t get nervous and don’t get down on myself. He’s comforting to have, because he’s done it for four years.””

After two years, Taylor has finally been given the opportunity to play. Not only is the door to the starting goalie job wide open, but Taylor also has one of the Icecats’ all-time best goaltenders to help him through the process.

The goaltender situation still has not been solidified, but Boddy thinks Taylor has some potential to grow, and believes he did enough to earn some more starts.

“”I definitely think he’s got some potential,”” Boddy said. “”Hopefully he can develop a little more throughout the season and become the starting goalie.””

Taylor is hoping to take the net next weekend against the University of Colorado, build off of his solid career debut and eventually end the Icecats four-game skid.

“”We haven’t been playing well, but hopefully I can be that a spark plug that will help us start winning,”” Taylor said. “”We need to get that first win at home, I think it will just change the whole complexity like last year. Everyone knew what winning was like, and everybody was striving for that.””

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