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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Icecats coach uses new tryout schedule, likes results”

    Arizona center Matt Conover looks to make a pass during a game against Weber State last year in the Tucson Convention Center. Conover, the Icecats leading scorer last year, returns as an assistant captain leading at least 15 new players who made the team during tryouts last week.
    Arizona center Matt Conover looks to make a pass during a game against Weber State last year in the Tucson Convention Center. Conover, the Icecats’ leading scorer last year, returns as an assistant captain leading at least 15 new players who made the team during tryouts last week.

    Men’s club ice hockey head coach Leo Golembiewski believes the right mix of youth and experience will try and turn the tide for the 2007-2008 Icecats after a grueling three-day tryout period that wrapped up Thursday.

    Golembiewski tweaked the schedule for the open tryouts this year with hopes of giving everyone an equal shot at making the team. The first day of

    We have a good nucleus of young kids coming back and we really think this should be a good season for us. We hope to provide Tucson and the university with an exciting brand of hockey. – Leo Golembiewski, head coach

    tryouts was devoted to skating drills, which was expected to help players knock off rust they might have accumulated over the past six months, as well as increase competition.

    Golembiewski said “”the only thing that hurts every team is complacency,”” and that the new tryout schedule was implemented to alleviate that problem.

    Assistant coach Dave Dougall said the skating drills helped coaches analyze player’s skills that might not get noticed during the five-on-five scrimmages, when coaches were looking more at each player’s decision-making.

    Thirty-three players were selected for the roster, with about 15 newcomers. The team consists of players from 15 states, including four from Arizona, California and Illinois, and three from New York and Connecticut. The only other state with multiple players is Michigan, with two.

    Senior captains Scott Marshall and Craig Irwin are expected to lead the way from an experience standpoint, in addition to junior assistant captains Matt Conover and Robbie Nowinski.

    Conover was last year’s leading scorer, and Golembiewski expects some of the speedy center’s energy to rub off on the rest of the team. Arizona starts a six-day off-ice conditioning program tomorrow before the rink at Tucson Convention Center will be ready for practice.

    “”If we don’t do (conditioning) now, it will catch up with us during the season,”” Dougall said.

    The Icecats aren’t a large team; only three players weigh more than 200 pounds, and only are 11 taller than 6 feet. Dougall said the Icecats will have to fly around the ice while staying healthy to be one of the 16 teams invited to the ACHA National Tournament.

    “”We have a good nucleus of young kids coming back, and we really think this should be a good season for us,”” Golembiewski said. “”We hope to provide Tucson and the university with an exciting brand of hockey.””

    Getting to Rochester, N.Y., could be difficult with a team consisting of 27 underclassmen, but Golembiewski said a lack of college playing experience and leadership shouldn’t hurt the team.

    “”Leadership is a characteristic a player brings on the ice, in the locker room, on the bench and even on campus,”” he said.

    One thing worrying both coaches was last year’s lack of consistency. The Icecats lost six one-goal games last year, including four to ASU.

    “”This year, we hope to maximize consistency and our execution,”” Dougall said. “”If you don’t execute, you’re done.””

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