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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Icecats win another thriller against ASU

    Forward Robbie Nowinski, left, drives the puck toward the goal in Fridays 6-5 overtime win against ASU in the Tucson Convention Center. The attendance, 6,500, was the most for one game in more than eight years.
    Forward Robbie Nowinski, left, drives the puck toward the goal in Friday’s 6-5 overtime win against ASU in the Tucson Convention Center. The attendance, 6,500, was the most for one game in more than eight years.

    The Arizona men’s club hockey team seems to love to play in tight, exciting games.

    After a nail-biting 5-4 overtime win over ASU on Thursday at the Tucson Convention Center, the No. 23 Arizona Icecats played another close game in a 6-5 win on Friday night in front of the first sellout crowd in over eight years.

    “”It was the most I’ve ever seen at (the TCC) before,”” co-captain Scott Marshall said. “”It was crazy. It was a great way to go out, especially versus ASU.””

    The win was Arizona’s seventh in eight tries versus ASU this season, and Arizona head coach Leo Golembiewski said it could keep the team’s playoff hopes alive with just two games remaining before the top 16 teams receive their bids to the American Collegiate Hockey Association National Championships in Rochester, N.Y.

    The Icecats (18-8-1) dominated play early,out-shooting ASU 17-7 in the first period. They amassed a 4-0 lead just 2:09 into the second period giving the 6,500 fans ample opportunity to chant the traditional, “”Hey goalie! You suck! It’s all your fault, it’s all your fault, it’s all your fault!”” after each Icecat goal.

    But Arizona seemed to go on cruise control for the rest of the second period and ASU (9-16-2) took advantage of the lapse and scored three times in a 2:37 span and tied the game seven minutes later with 1:34 to go in the second period, stunning the raucous crowd.

    “”We had to look at ourselves and play for the guys next to us,”” forward Matt Conover said. “”It was pretty much a 0-0 game and we knew we had to come out swinging,””

    Both teams came out fired up for the third period with plenty of violent hitting to go around. Play started to open up about five minutes into the deciding period and the rowdy crowd got behind the Icecats and seemed to lift their spirits. With 13:06 to go, Arizona defender Max Sliwinski patiently worked the puck down low to Conover who found forward Robbie Nowinski in front of the net to give Arizona the lead – but only for 15 seconds. ASU took the ensuing face-off and with a series of sharp, quick passes cruised in for an easy score.

    But Nowinski answered right back when he set up the game-winning goal 47 seconds later. Nowinski raced down the right side of the ice, pulled off a nifty behind the back dump pass to Marshall who slotted it home.

    Nowinski and Conover spearheaded the Icecat attack with Nowinski tallying two goals and three assists and Conover notching four assists of his own. The Icecats out-shot ASU 53-41 over the course of the game and co-captain Craig Irwin got in on the scoring by netting two goals in his second game back after a groin injury caused him to miss the past three series.

    “”We moved the puck pretty well (on Friday),”” Irwin said. “”When Connie and Robbie are on, it’s just easy. All I’ve gotta do is get open and they can get it to me.””

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