The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

93° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    6 Icecats end careers on high note

    Arizona club hockey forward Craig Irwin attempts to skate past a Texas Tech defender in Fridays 7-0 win over the Red Raiders. Irwin and five other seniors played their last game in an Icecats uniform Saturday at the Tucson Convention Center.
    Arizona club hockey forward Craig Irwin attempts to skate past a Texas Tech defender in Friday’s 7-0 win over the Red Raiders. Irwin and five other seniors played their last game in an Icecats uniform Saturday at the Tucson Convention Center.

    After a sluggish start to the season, the No. 22 Arizona men’s club hockey team’s furious finish couldn’t earn it a spot in the American Collegiate Hockey Association national championships.

    For the second straight year the team’s season ended with blowout wins, but no trip to the “”Big Dance.”” This season’s record of 22-8-1, however, was a far greater success than last year’s 17-14 mark.

    Despite being swept at lowly St. Louis University, finishing 11-33 with 259 goals allowed on the season in early November, Arizona posted its fair share of quality showings. It split a two-game series with the defending ACHA Division I national champions No. 12 Oakland University (Michigan) (19-10) and defending ACHA D-II champions Michigan State (16-14-1) to go along with a win 4-2 over No. 16 Stony Brook (24-7).

    The six seniors on this year’s squad – goaltender Luke Edwall, defensemen Evan Marro, Devon Brady and Max Sliwinski and forwards Craig Irwin and Scott Marshall – saw lots of ups and downs in their time on the team, but all agree their Icecat careers ended on a high note. Arizona won 11 of its last 12 games and its last eight games overall.

    “”Minus the fact we didn’t go to nationals, finishing 22-8-1 is good,”” Brady said. “”We also took seven of eight games from our biggest rival (ASU), so you can’t ask for much more than that.””

    ASU also provided two seniors with the most memorable moments in their careers. Last season, Marro scored a game-tying goal with one second left to force overtime in the Dec. 8 contest. But due to an apparent clock malfunction, ASU head coach Todd Bisson protested the goal – to no avail – and then refused to take part in the overtime period resulting in a 5-5 Icecat victory by forfeit.

    On Feb. 1 this year, Marshall tallied the game-winning goal, admittedly the biggest goal in his career, in a 6-5 win over the Sun Devils – a moment he said tied for his favorite memory. The fans provided the other highlight of his career on the same night when they filled the Tucson Convention Center to its capacity of 6,500 for the first time in more than eight years.

    The biggest thing all the seniors have taken away from their days as Icecats is the close friendships they’ve forged.

    “”Really, the only friends I have at this school are the guys on this team,”” Irwin said. “”I can call anybody on the team for anything and they’ll do it for me. They’re all my best friends.””

    The seniors’ competitive playing careers may have ended, but they still share the same goal – graduate and get a job. While most will probably try and keep playing hockey in various men’s leagues, for now, they’ll live like a regular kids in the last two and a half months of their lives as college students.

    “”They (all) matured as hockey players, they (all) matured as men, and that’s my job,”” Golembiewski said. “”We (graduate) everybody with the Icecats and we key on that. It’s the vehicle that we use called hockey to make this happen and I’m very proud that they went out on a winning note.””

    More to Discover
    Activate Search