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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Icecat seniors hoping to end careers on a winning note

    Senior year is built up of many final moments. Whether it’s the last home opener, the last road trip, or the last rivalry game, one thing is guaranteed – the end is near.

    As for the seniors on the Arizona club hockey team (12-13-2), they will play the last series of their collegiate careers as they host rival ASU (14-14) at the Tucson Convention Center tonight and Saturday.

    “”We’ve had a rough year with injuries but we’ve tried to put together a winning season,”” said senior goaltender Nick Boddy. “”I just want go out there and play well in front of family for senior night and come away with two wins.””

    Boddy could finish his career with the best save percentage of any Icecats goaltender, as he carries his .915 mark into this weekend’s games.

    For many of the seniors, being able to play their careers in a 6,500-seat arena in their four years as an Icecat has been something they have come to appreciate, considering that most club hockey teams don’t even have the privilege of playing in an actual arena.

    “”I will always remember my first games as a freshman, my first time skating out there with the crowd cheering you on,”” said senior forward Brandon Robinson. “”It was hardcore for me, coming from a high school in San Diego where hockey is not that big of a deal. For the school and community to get behind us like they have has blown me away.””

    In the beginning of the season, seniors had high hopes of getting back to the American Collegiate Hockey Association National Championship Tournament, but starting the season 4-9-1 made these hopes disappear, despite going 7-4-1 in the second half of the season.

    Though senior forward Matt Conover was expected to play this weekend, after missing 26 games with an injured left knee, Icecat head coach Leo Golembiewski said Conover is unlikely to play this weekend.

    Conover was the Icecat’s second-leading scorer in the 2007-08 season and had built quite a tandem with senior Robbie Nowinski over the course of their careers. Both players are ranked in the top-25 in scoring in UA history.

    The last time the Icecats played ASU in Scottsdale, they dominated them in a 4-0 shutout victory on Jan 31. The Sun Devils come into this weekend with revenge on their minds after being embarrassed on their home ice a day after beating Arizona 5-3.

    “”Consistency has been a problem for us the entire year, we’ve been unable to play two good games in a row,”” said Arizona State head coach Jeremy Goltz. “”We’re really shooting to play six good periods of hockey in a tough place to play like the TCC.””

    Goltz is very familiar with the TCC from his days of being an Icecat player from 1990-94 and was inducted into the Icecats hall of fame in 1999. He was also an assistant coach under Golembiewski from 1995-2000. This is the first season as the head coach of the Sun Devils, after deciding to take the job after turning it down in 2002 because of the rivalry between Arizona and ASU.

    “”Just getting older and just realizing that this is how things happen,”” Goltz said of his reasoning for taking the job at ASU. “”I will always have a special place for this organization (in Tucson), but right now we’re trying to go in there building and take two from them.””

    Icecat seniors are looking forward to the weekend because this will be their final chance to beat the rivals from up north. The Icecats are 12-13-2 and the only way they can finish with a winning record for the season is with a sweep over the Sun Devils.

    “”It’s going to be emotional weekend for me, it’s the end of my career against the team that I most hate,”” said senior defenseman Zack Stommen. “”It’s definitely going to be an intense and eventful weekend for everybody. It’s going to be a memorable weekend and I’m going to make sure of that.””

    Golembiewski nominated for USA Hockey HOF

    Eearlier this week, Icecat head coach Leo Golembiewski was nominated for the USA Hockey Hall of Fame, located in Eveleth, Minn. Golembiewski was nominated for the second year of three-year nomination process.

    “”I was totally surprised that someone would nominate for such a matter,”” Golembiewski said. “”It goes to show at Arizona is known all across North America.””

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