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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Icecats head to Texas in search of consistency

    Despite a strong showing in last week’s tournament in Rochester, N.Y., the Arizona men’s club hockey team continues to struggle with consistent offensive play.

    The Icecats (4-1) dispatched two quality opponents in Stony Brook and Indiana (Pa.), but sloppy play in the third game led to a loss.

    The road back to Rochester for the American Collegiate Hockey Association National Championships doesn’t get any easier, with this weekend’s road trip to take on Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas.

    “”Going into their barn is going to be tough,”” said forward Scott Marshall. “”They’re a fast team, so we’re going to have to hit them a lot to slow them down. If we bring our speed and hitting with us, we should come out of there with two wins, as long as we stay out of the (penalty) box.””

    Icecats head coach Leo Golembiewski echoed those sentiments, citing previous battles with the Red Raiders.

    “”The beat us in our house two years ago, but we were able to exact a little revenge last year when we beat them both times we played,”” Golembiewski said. “”It’s going to be tough – Tech is looking to make a statement, they’re a talented team. They just played a top-10 Oklahoma … squad very tough a few weeks ago. Our work is definitely cut out for us.””

    Part of the battle will be figuring out how to score with a man advantage. The Icecats have yet to score a power play goal this year.

    Some of that could be attributed to a lack of ice time for the team. The Tucson Convention Center is the only place in town with an ice rink, and the TCC playing host to a home and garden show and the “”Disney on Ice”” show took away the Icecats’ chance to practice at all for the past two weeks.

    “”Hockey is a skills sport,”” Golembiewski said. “”You can ride bikes and lift weights, but there’s no substitute for skating. When you can’t skate, it really hurts you.””

    The lack of power play goals is troubling to Marshall, who is tied for the team scoring lead with two goals and five assists.

    “”It’s definitely a cause for concern,”” Marshall said. “”When you get those opportunities, you’ve got to put them away.””

    Also hindering the Icecats scoring in Rochester was the lack of production from the team’s second line of forwards Craig Irwin, Jordan Schupan and Keith Patterson. Golembiewski said the line just needs to execute a little better and the puck should find its way to the back of the net.

    “”The bottom line is we need to get some consistent offensive output from our top-two offensive units,”” Golembiewski said. “”The goaltending has been there, there’s no doubt about that. We just need to get a consistent balanced offense going.””

    Marshall and Golembiewski remain pleased with the Icecats’ record, although they know there is a long road ahead of them. Golembiewski predicts the team will need to win 25 of the 31 games this year, leaving little margin for error.

    “”We’ve been playing well this year, we just need to be more consistent and put together three straight solid periods,”” Marshall said.

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