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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Icecats tune up for ACHA tourney against No. 15 Oklahoma

    The No. 11 Arizona men’s club hockey team visits No. 15 Oklahoma this weekend for a two-game series with the puck dropping at 7:30 p.m. CST both tonight and tomorrow.

    On their most important road trip of the year, the Icecats (16-10) have gone 3-1 after a split with No. 7 Weber State and last weekend’s sweep of No. 9 ASU. Wins this weekend against the Sooners would move Arizona into a higher seeding heading into the American Collegiate Hockey Association National Tournament.

    Head coach Leo Golembiewski said that after the sweep of ASU and their current ranking, the Icecats will make their 21st trip to the ACHA national tournament in 23 years. The top 16 teams ranked by the ACHA qualify for the tournament, so Oklahoma (16-10-2) finds itself on the bubble with its current ranking.

    Golembiewski said that despite its comfortable ranking and all-but-assured invitation to the national tournament, this weekend in Oklahoma will be huge for the team. Because the host team, Westchester University, automatically receives a bid to the tournament, the Sooners are in the last spot now, and will be looking to make their season against Arizona.

    After the Icecats series, Oklahoma only has unranked St. Cloud State on its schedule.

    “”What you see on this road trip is a (Wildcat) team that has defined itself since Dec. 1,”” Golembiewski said. “”This team really bought into itself after the showcase (ASU Desert Classic).””

    With a grueling season winding down to its end, the Icecats have shifted their practice schedule around, hoping to be fresh when March comes.

    “”We’ve moved our practice schedule around and try to keep in shape with a lot of extra skating,”” Golembiewski said. “”We’re trying to strengthen ourselves and hope that we can stay fresh mentally.””

    Senior defenseman D.J. Pelletier’s return to the lineup is still unknown heading into the weekend as Arizona tries to “”Get it Done,”” in accordance with their new slogan, and move into the ACHA top 10.

    Icecats garner invite to ACHA Showcase; Devils denied

    Arizona was invited to next season’s fourth annual ACHA Showcase this week, a three-day tournament to start the season that showcases the ACHA’s best teams.

    The Icecats, who started the season unranked, played in the tournament this year, going 1-2 with a win over then No. 7 Michigan-Dearborn. The invitation solidifies the Icecats’ return to the national stage this year.

    No. 9 ASU was not invited.

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