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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Icecats can’t avoid ASU sweep

Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat
Gordon Bates
Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Sporting their black road jerseys in front of a sold out stadium at the Tucson Convention Center, the Arizona Icecats fought back against ASU on Saturday to send their 2009-10 season finale into overtime.

ASU’s Dan Anderson scored twenty seconds into the overtime, fittingly summing up the type of year it had been for the UA club hockey team (12-18).

“”The team’s young. They don’t understand what it means to be doing this right now,”” said senior defenseman Austin Capobianco of playing ASU. “”I wish that nobody goes 0-8 versus ASU, let alone be the first team to do that in Icecat history, let alone be the senior and the captain of it.””

After ending the season with a sweep at the hands of No. 11 ASU (25-8-3), the Icecats did in fact become the only team in the program’s 31-year history to go 0-8 against the Sun Devils, while becoming only the second team to finish with a losing record.

Game 1 was competitive for the first 40 minutes as the Icecats got on the board first. ASU tied things up 16:30 into the first period and ultimately scored the only goal of the second period to take a 2-1 lead heading into the third. 

The Icecats were still within arms reach until ASU found the back of the net 39 seconds into the period and held on to win 5-1.

“”It was nice getting out to a 1-0 lead, but we’ve got to build on that. A common theme when we play teams that are better than us is, we give up a goal, we give up another goal and it just snowballs on us,”” said senior defenseman Zach Cherney. “”We played right with them the first two periods, and it just snowballed on us quickly.””

In Game 2, the Wildcats fought back from a 2-0 first-period deficit, thanks to a pair of goals from freshman Jeff Back and junior Jordan Schupan.

ASU took a 3-2 lead 9:15 into the third period, but freshman forward Adam Treptow knotted things up with a power play goal with just over seven minutes remaining, sending the game to overtime.

The full-capacity TCC crowd was electric, and the momentum appeared to be favoring the Icecats, but that momentum was quickly snapped by Anderson’s heart-breaking overtime goal.

Although the season series against ASU didn’t exactly end as the Icecats had hoped, the team showed resilience against a very good Sun Devil team that is headed to the American Collegiate Hockey Association Division I National Tournament.

“”You wanted to do the best you could, whether you were tired or not, whether the odds were against you or not,”” said head coach Leo Golembiewski after Game 2. “”We played with heart, we played with dignity. They showed the Icecats how much they respect the game of hockey.””

As has been the case for the better part of five months, the Icecats fell short against ASU. The season full of injuries, lack of practice time and inconsistent play across the board is now in the books, and the Icecats finished with the most losses in the program’s history.

19 freshmen debuted this season, and although ASU got the best of the Icecats this time around, the building blocks for success are there.

“”We think we’ve got a core coming back that we can build on,”” Golembiewski said.

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