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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Seniors’ season finale with ASU

For the 19 Arizona Icecats who debuted during the 2009-10 season, this weekend’s season finale series against ASU in the Tucson Convention Center marks the end of the beginning, as three more years of Icecat hockey lie ahead.

But, for the team’s two seniors, Austin Capobianco and Zach Cherney, these final 120 minutes signify four years of wins, losses and memories.

“”It’s been the best four years of my life here,”” Cherney said. “”So, it’s a little sad, but, at the same time, I’ve had a good career here, and I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished.””

Cherney and Capobianco, both defensemen, have experienced the good, the bad and the ugly in four years with the UA club hockey team (12-16). The senior duo has been a part of everything from the 22-8-1 record in the 2007-08 season to this year’s roller coaster of a season that has resulted in the second losing season in the program’s 31-year history.

“”They’ll be a loss, definitely,”” said head coach Leo Golembiewski. “”It’s always sad to see them go, but the bottom line is, that’s the hardest thing about coaching college — you’ve got people for four years, and that’s it.””

While it is easy to say that the focus is only on tonight’s and tomorrow’s games, both at 7:30 p.m., the two seniors admitted that the idea of their careers being over has been running through their minds for quite some time.

“”I’ve been pretty much (reflecting) all year,”” Capobianco said. “”It’s like, ‘Oh, only this many games left,’ but they just keep going by so fast. It’s tough to appreciate it as it’s happening, but I know (today) and Saturday, it will kick in.””

With their Icecat careers winding down, Cherney and Capobianco can’t help but reflect on some of their most memorable times in Icecats uniforms. Cherney said his most memorable moment wasn’t tough to pick out: he scored the final goal in a six-round shootout victory against the Sun Devils to end last season.

“”The whole atmosphere, not even just the goal,”” Cherney said. “”The place was sold out, the fans were going nuts the whole game. It really felt like a whole team effort.””

Capobianco said his most memorable moments echoed his fellow defenseman’s in regards to the shootout win, but he vividly recalled a game against ASU his sophomore year, in which the Sun Devils waved the white flag a little prematurely.

“”We were down one in the third period, there was like seven seconds left on the faceoff, and the clock started two seconds late,”” Capobianco said. “”(ASU) got off of the ice and forfeited because we tied the game up with like two seconds left.””

“”Hopefully we can build the two best ones this weekend,”” he added.

Capobianco is set to graduate in May with a degree in regional development and a minor in business while Cherney is planning to stick around one more semester to finish up his double major of public administration management and criminal justice.

While Cherney, a New York, N.Y., native, isn’t exactly sure what he will do after he graduates, Capobianco plans on heading back home to Connecticut to work for a family business in the food industry.

“”We’ll see what happens. I guess I get to eat a lot of food, so it’s not that bad,”” he joked. “”It’s a whole new chapter that I’m not ready to open yet; maybe in May. So I’m just enjoying every second of it, taking a lot of units; finish in four.””

But before the seniors think about the future, they have a couple of games to play, and, as ASU has won the first six matchups of the season, the duo is eager to end its career on a high note.

“”It would be great, absolutely,”” Cherney said of ending his career with a sweep of ASU. “”Not only is it the final two games here, but it is against ASU.””

Added Capobianco: “”A sweep would be a great going away present. I wouldn’t have anything to regret or look back upon and say, what if.””

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