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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

“Icecats doomed by penalties, missed opportunities”

Ginny Polin/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

hockey vs ASU
Ginny Polin
Ginny Polin/ Arizona Daily Wildcat hockey vs ASU

The ASU club hockey team rolled into Tucson this past weekend riding a 14-game winning streak over the Arizona Icecats, and it left with a 16-game winning streak.

The Icecats (14-13-2) fell to the No. 8 Sun Devils 11-5 on Friday in the Tucson Convention Center and 6-5 in overtime in the most intense games of the season on Saturday, according to head coach Leo Golembiewski.

“”The guys played their hearts out,”” Golembiewski said.

On Friday, ASU struck first, scoring only four minutes into the game with a shot that snuck past goaltender Steven Sisler’s left shoulder.

The Icecats answered back with a Brady Lefferts goal four minutes later, and tied the game.

The two teams would exchange goals for most of the first two periods. Arizona would lead 4-3 late in the second, but it wouldn’t last.

ASU scored three goals to end the second period, including one with one second left on the clock, giving the Sun Devils a 6-4 lead.

“”That kills a team,”” forward Mike Babyak said about ASU’s last-second goal.

Despite scoring a goal to make it 6-5 at the beginning of the period, Babyak’s premonition was correct.

ASU poured in five unanswered goals to close the game, giving the Sun Devils a lopsided victory.

“”It was a tale of two games,”” Golembiewski said. “”We played well for half of the game, and (ASU) played well for half of the game.””

The Sun Devil rally at the end of the second period shifted the momentum in the

game greatly.

“”Momentum can be a tricky thing,”” said freshman Eric Watters. “”If you have it, you have it. If you don’t, you don’t. It’s hard to get back, and hard to get. We just couldn’t get it back.””

In game two, the Icecats made sure momentum was on their side from the beginning.

Arizona jumped out to an early 3-0 lead and closed the first frame up 4-1.

However, the second period was all ASU. It scored three consecutive goals to tie the game at four. The score held until the middle of the third period when ASU scored once again to take the lead with nine minutes remaining in the game.

The Icecats were unable to convert on numerous chances to score with time dwindling. Golembiewski made the call to pull the goalie with just less than a minute to play to give the Icecats a sixth skater, and it paid off.

Icecat captain Jordan Schupan, in his final game in an Icecat uniform, scored the game-tying goal with 24 seconds left, sending the Tucson Convention Center arena crowd into pandemonium.

“”It was really incredible, with 6,000 fans going crazy,”” Schupan said. “”It was an amazing feeling.””

The excitement wouldn’t last too long, though. ASU’s Danny McAuliffe scored the game-winning goal with a minute and a half remaining in the overtime period.

“”We definitely left it all out there,”” Schupan said. “”We had such a great start (but) we started to watch and sit back, we took a couple penalties and let them right back into the game.””

The Icecats finish out the season at 14-13-2, giving them their 30th winning season in the last 32 years, according to Golembiewski.

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