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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Icecats finish lackluster season with two wins

    The Arizona Icecats said goodbye to their seniors this weekend with two dominating wins against New Mexico at the Tucson Convention Center.

    The Icecats, who won 17-0 Saturday and 13-3 Friday, will miss the American Collegiate Hockey Association National Tournament for just the fourth time in 28 years after finishing with a 17-13-1 record.

    “”The bottom line is, it was a disappointing year, and I think the players realized (that) because they know what they did,”” said head coach Leo Golembiewski. “”Are we a top-16 team? Full strength, absolutely.””

    “”We had a bittersweet year, we had a lot of talent. … (S)ome of the bounces didn’t go our way, with a lot of injuries and players missing games.””
    – Bryan Meagher,
    senior forward

    The Icecats finished without their top two scorers in forwards Craig Irwin and Matt Conover.

    “”We had a bittersweet year, we had a lot of talent. … (S)ome of the bounces didn’t go our way, with a lot of injuries and players missing games,”” said senior forward Bryan Meagher.

    Meagher departs along with forward Dave Cwik and defensemen Eric Kowalek.

    Cwik capped off his career with a six-goal game against Texas Tech Feb. 16, the second-most goals scored in a game by a single Icecat.

    Kowalek ended his career on the bench with an injury.

    “”It was disappointing – it was (a) tough break at the end of the season, not playing, but I got to help out on the bench,”” Kowalek said.

    “”But I did kind of get an extra year out of it,”” he added.

    Kowalek is a first-year pharmacy graduate student who got one more year of eligibility with the Icecats this season.

    The Icecats did find solid play out of some of their younger players this season, including freshman Jake Allison and sophomores Brandon Robinson and Joe Del Rossi.

    Thirty-one of 34 players from this year’s team will return next year.

    “”We lost a bunch of our games by one goal, and you turn it around if the puck bounces the other way – it could have been a whole different season,”” said right wing Scott Marshall. “”It’s been a long season with injuries, but with the four-month layoff we’ll come back in August with 31 (returning) players. We’ll be good (for nationals).””

    Arizona will return a strong senior class that includes co-captains Marshall and Irwin along with goalie Luke Edwall.

    Golembiewski noted that despite a sub-par season by Icecat standards, the local community continued to support the team. He said he wished UA President Robert Shelton “”could see the kind of support we get from Tucson. The Icecats are a cult sport, and our team is spoiled by probably the best atmosphere in the ACHA.””

    The Icecats finished with a four-game winning streak against two ACHA Division-II schools.

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