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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Icecats eager for Rebel revenge

Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat

The Icecats fell to the No. 1 Lindenwood Lions 13-4 Friday night in the Tucson Convention Center.
Mike Christy
Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat The Icecats fell to the No. 1 Lindenwood Lions 13-4 Friday night in the Tucson Convention Center.

Early Wednesday morning, it was confirmed that half of the Arizona Icecats’ six remaining home games — including what would have been tonight’s matchup versus the University of Nevada-Las Vegas — have been cancelled due to scheduling conflicts at the Tucson Convention Center.

But the Icecats (9-12) still have a game to play against UNLV (18-5) Saturday night, and revenge is on their minds.

“”After getting beat 8-2 the second game and 7-4 the first game, of course we want revenge,”” said freshman forward Brian Slugocki, who  leads the team in goals with 20. “”You always want revenge against somebody you lost badly to.””

The Icecats were swept by the Runnin’ Rebels at the end of October in Las Vegas. But, with the gradual maturation of the 19 freshman who have debuted this season, it is safe to say that the UA club hockey team is a much different group than they were first time these two teams faced off.

“”They’ve got a talented team,”” said head coach Leo Golembiewski. “”They’re an older team, a bigger team, so we’ll have our hands full just like we did there. But we’re a much stronger team than we were when we went to Vegas.””

“”I think it was just beginning-of-the-season jitters,”” Slugocki added. “”First bus trip, guys were tired. It should be a totally different mindset for this game.””

While the Icecats are years ahead of where they were in October, they won’t be at full strength on Saturday. The team is expected to be without its second-leading point-scorer, junior forward Jordan Schupan, who suffered a shoulder injury, for the second consecutive game.

But, for the most part, the Icecats will be healthy for Saturday, and the players should have chips on their shoulders after the TCC chose Disney Live Rockin’ Road Show instead of Tucson’s favorite hockey team.

If they hope to make a respectable season out of the roller-coaster ride that has characterized their 2009-2010 campaign, the Icecats need to translate that frustration to the ice from the moment the puck drops. 

“”We need to come out strong,”” said senior defenseman Zach Cherney. “”The past few games we’ve had rough starts. To get the momentum right away would be huge for us—get a couple of quick goals, get some confidence, get the legs going and wear them down.””

There may be no Friday game like usual, but nothing should change because of it. The puck will still drop at 7:30 on Saturday night, and this team still needs to go out and compete for 60 minutes if they still want to end the season .500.

“”We’re looking towards finishing strong and that should help have a good feel to the season,”” said associate head coach Dave Dougall. “”Winning games solves everything.””

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