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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Forward turns into scoring machine

    Freshman forward Robbie Nowinski leads the No. 11 Icecats in goals, putting the biscuit in the basket 23 times. Thats kind of what Ive done all my life - scored goals, Nowinski said.
    Freshman forward Robbie Nowinski leads the No. 11 Icecats in goals, putting the biscuit in the basket 23 times. ‘That’s kind of what I’ve done all my life – scored goals,’ Nowinski said.

    In hockey there are a whole lot of clichǸs for scoring a goal: Light the lamp, find the twine, put the biscuit in the basket. John DiDante, the voice of the Icecats, has probably gone through all of them this season trying to keep up with freshman forward Robbie Nowinski.

    Nowinski leads the No. 11 Icecats (17-11) with 23 goals on the season but said he isn’t surprised at all.

    “”That’s kind of what I’ve done all my life – scored goals,”” Nowinski said.

    Like any good teammate, Nowinski said he credits much of his success finding the twine to his fellow players.

    It always helps having great teammates out there that know what you like to do on the ice, where you’re
    going to be.
    – Robbie Nowinski,

    freshman forward

    “”It always helps having great teammates out there that know what you like to do on the ice, where you’re going to be,”” Nowinski said, speaking about his roommates.

    Nowinski and fellow freshmen forwards Cody Morin, Matt Conover and freshman defenseman Zack Stommen live together at Northpointe Apartments.

    “”When you get along off the ice like we do, it translates to the ice – that familiarity with each other,”” Nowinski said. “”Scoring goals is a combination of things: knowing when to shoot, where to put the puck and where to be. With these guys, I know where my linemates are gonna be, and they know where I am.””

    Stommen, one of the top defensemen this year for Arizona, played with all four of his roommates during his two years of junior professional hockey.

    “”It’s especially easy playing with Robbie and these guys because I’ve played with all of them before,”” Stommen said. “”I played about three-quarters of a season with Robbie in Boston before coming down to Phoenix.””

    As Conover and Stommen joined Morin on the Phoenix Polar Bears, that extra experience has led to many goals and many wins this season for the Icecats.

    Conover, Morin and Nowinski have played together in spurts this season, showing what could be a dangerous line for years to come.

    “”Playing with Robbie and especially with that line as a defenseman I want to make sure I do my job. I know that’s gotta be an offensive line, so we can’t let up a goal, and I’ve got to get them the puck,”” Stommen said. “”Because Robbie can do things with the puck, I’ll make a pass to him sometimes where with someone else I might just play it high off the glass, out of the zone.””

    For a kid originally from Michigan who spent two years in Boston and Michigan playing hockey, it may seem strange to travel all the way out to Arizona for the sport, but Nowinski said it made perfect sense for him.

    “”I grew up in Michigan, so when I had the chance to come out here, where it’s like 70 degrees every day during the season, I had to do it,”” Nowinski said.

    Stommen, also a Michigan native, spent part of his first year playing juniors in Los Angeles, then transferred up to Boston, where he hooked up with Nowinski.

    “”After playing in L.A., I got up to Boston and was like, ‘damn it’s cold,’ so after playing in Phoenix, we knew we were coming to U of A to play,”” Stommen said.

    After the Icecats’ recent three weekends on the road where they went 4-2, they are gearing up for the American College Hockey Association National Tournament in Westchester, Penn.

    “”This whole spring semester was basically focusing on those three series, knowing we had to start really playing well if we wanted to be strong going into Nationals,”” Nowinski said.

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