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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Icecats ride momentum to N.Y. for showcase tournament

    Quality performance a must in order to impress voters, reach nationals

    After sweeping bitter rival ASU last weekend, the road literally gets longer and harder for the Arizona men’s club hockey team this weekend in Rochester, N.Y.

    The Icecats take on Indiana University of Pennsylvania this afternoon at the ESL Sports Centre in Rochester as part of the American Collegiate Hockey Association Showcase. Tomorrow afternoon they take on Stony Brook followed by Robert Morris College Sunday morning.

    Arizona has never faced any of these opponents in the past. They will step onto the ice without much knowledge about the other teams, but that won’t alter their game plan.

    Assistant coach Dave Dougall said the team will try to “”work the puck in down deep”” with hopes of creating lots of scoring chances.

    “”I think we can come away from the tournament with three wins,”” Dougall said. “”Especially if we play like we did last week.””

    Line mates Craig Irwin, Jordan Schupan and Keith Patterson combined for seven goals and five assists in Friday’s contest against ASU. Dougall expects that forward trio to continue its success, perhaps without quite as many goals, and also expects forwards Scott Marshall, Matt Conover and Robbie Nowinski to break through this weekend.

    “”Last weekend, the first game was a defensive battle and the second one was completely the opposite,”” Dougall said. “”We have to keep up the good defense and put a complete game together this weekend if we want to win.””

    Dougall also cited a lack of consistency at the goalkeeper position, but he doesn’t think there will be many repeats of the five goals allowed in the second game against ASU.

    “”The whole idea of the tournament is to go to the East Coast and play in front of teams that do the voting (which determines who will eventually play in the ACHA National Championships),”” Dougall said. “”We need to perform well in order to get the attention of the voters.””

    Last year, the Icecats had a decent showing in the Ohio Showcase, a tournament similar to the ACHA Showcase in Rochester, by posting a 2-1 record.

    The experience the players will gain by playing against a higher level of competition should bode well for the young Icecats, a team with only six seniors.

    “”We need to be consistent, play smart hockey and not turn the puck over in the neutral zone and we should be fine,”” Dougall said. “”We just need to play our style of hockey.””

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