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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Icecats offense gets a boost from Lefferts

Although offense has not been a problem for the Arizona Icecats this season, Leo Golembiewski’s club will welcome back one of the team’s biggest offensive threats for the two-game series at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas this weekend.

Sophomore forward Brady Lefferts was cleared to play last week and will make his season debut for the Icecats this Friday in Sin City. Lefferts has been out for more than four weeks with a displaced hip, an injury that required daily treatment.

After battling through a month of physical therapy and pain from the injury, Lefferts is amped to get back on the ice.

“”I am really excited,”” Lefferts said. “”It will be good to have everyone out there together.””

Lefferts was third on the team in points last year and truly broke onto the scene during his second semester. He played in every game as a freshman, posting 14 goals and 14 assists, and hopes to pick up right where he left off.

“”I hope to bring a scoring threat to the team,”” Lefferts said. “”With the incoming guys and the returning guys we can hopefully have two lines that can put the puck in the net at any time.””

The Icecats have scored 17 goals in the last three games and are looking to continue the scoring barrage with Lefferts back in the mix.

“”With him back, we have the talent to have two first lines, two lines that can really score,”” said junior co-captain Jordan Schupan, the team’s current scoring leader. “”We have the guys to put up a lot of goals this season.””

If anyone knows the importance of a player like Lefferts, it’s Schupan.

The two had terrific chemistry last season, when they were line mates for the majority of the season.  Schupan said that the two enjoyed that same chemistry on the ice early this season — until Lefferts went down with the injury.

“”We were actually playing together for the first month of practice, and we were really clicking,”” Schupan said.

The Icecats have yet to play a game at full strength, but despite this have managed to win two of their last three.

Although it was hard for the Icecats to play at full force without Lefferts, it was even harder for the sophomore forward to sit and watch.

“”It was so difficult to sit out,”” Lefferts said. “”I didn’t miss a game last year, and I usually don’t miss games at all. It’s really tough to know the team is out there and I could be helping them out, but I have to sit back and not do anything about whether we have a chance to win or not.””

About a week before the two-game series against ASU, Lefferts injured his hip in practice. One of the joints in his hip was pushed out of place, causing the other joints to grind against each other. Lefferts was in pain for the better part of three weeks, but finally saw progress as a result of rigorous rehab.

Last night was the first time the sophomore has tested the hip on the ice in more than four weeks.

Lefferts finally feels that he is at 100 percent and isn’t worried about finding a role with a new-look Icecats team. With his return, the Icecats hope for a sweep at UNLV this weekend.

“”We know we need to grab two games,”” Schupan said. “”We’re going to have (Lefferts) back, which is going to be a great addition to our team. We have to start getting sweeps now as we look to nationals.””

Bio Box:

#13 Brady Lefferts    Class: Sophomore    Height: 6-foot-2    Weight: 175 lbs. Pos.: Forward        Hometown: Anthem, AZ


Daily Wildcat: How has the rehabilitation process been?

Brady Lefferts: It’s been difficult because it felt like there wasn’t much progress for the first couple of weeks, and then all of the sudden it got better over a week. But the first couple of weeks it just felt like it wasn’t going to get better.

DW: What did you do, rehabilitation-wise?

BL: I went in every day, did a lot of strength and balance stuff. I wrapped bands around my ankles and tried to walk or move my legs out to strengthen it. I also had (an) ultrasound put on it for the muscles.

DW: A lot of the young forwards have been playing well. Where do you expect to fit into the equation, line-wise?

BL: Whichever way coach decides to go with, I’m sure will work out. All I can do is go out there and play. I feel like any combination could be really good because we have a really deep team this year.

DW: Do you think it will be tough to adjust to playing with all of these new guys?

BL: I’m not too worried about it. I think I’ll be able to fill into a role. It might take a little while to get ready, but I think we’ll figure it out pretty quickly.

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