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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Icecats dissatisfied with season despite winning record

Entering the 2010-2011 campaign, hopes were high for a berth in the American Collegiate Hockey Association’s national tournament, but the Icecats fell just short.

The Icecats (14-13-2) finished the year ranked No. 22 in the country, but only the top 16 make it into the playoffs.

“”It’s a little disappointing with not making the national tournament,”” said Icecat forward Eric Watters.

Since the Icecats are an independent team, they would have to be ranked in the top 12 to make it into the tournament because the 13-16 seeds are automatic bids and go to conference champions, according to Icecat head coach Leo Golembiewski.

He also noted that the tournament format is changing. So next season, if the Icecats make it into the 13-16 seeds, there would be a play-in game against a conference champion to make it into the national tournament.

However, the Icecats had chances to be ranked in the top 12 as they lost six games by one goal, including a shoot-out loss. If the Icecats did not lose those close games, which included top-10 teams, they would have had a lot more of an argument for a national tournament bid, finishing the season at 21-8.

“”It was a streaky season,”” Golembiewski. “”Win five, lose four, but all in all, we have to work on consistency.””

Consistency was a big theme for this year’s Icecat team.

“”We were up and down,”” said Icecat captain and graduating senior Jordan Schupan. “”We beat the No. 5 team, and then we would stutter against some lesser opponents.””

The season felt like a “”roller coaster,”” according to Brian Slugocki, one of the team’s leading scorers.

“”The year started out strong with a lot of promise, but we had some injuries that made it tougher to win.”” Slugocki said. “”We did win some tough games and definitely lost some games that should have been wins.””

The Icecats chalked up big victories against Colorado State, Adrian and Rutgers, but gave up close losses to ASU, Minot State and NAU.

“”I think (the season) was a great turnaround for the team in the context of what we did last year,”” Golembiewski said. “”We had a really solid team effort throughout the season.””

The players strive to be positive, keep their heads up and look ahead to next season because at this point, it is all they can do.

“”We are going to be stronger next year,”” Golembiewski said.

The players also take some things away from this past season.

“”Overall it was a good learning experience for me,”” Slugocki said. “”I’m looking forward to next year.””

The Icecats will be without seniors Jordan Schupan, Micah Kneeshaw and Nick Taylor next season.

“”I think they are going to do really well,”” Schupan said. “”I just wish the best of luck to everyone.””

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