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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Icecats sweep ASU, send seniors out on top”

    Arizona defenseman Zack Cherney circles back to his teammates after scoring the game-winning goal during a 4-3 shootout win against ASU Saturday night in the Tucson Convention Center. With the win, the Icecats finished the season with a 14-13-2 record, including a 4-2 mark against ASU.
    Arizona defenseman Zack Cherney circles back to his teammates after scoring the game-winning goal during a 4-3 shootout win against ASU Saturday night in the Tucson Convention Center. With the win, the Icecats finished the season with a 14-13-2 record, including a 4-2 mark against ASU.

    Zack Cherney couldn’t have picked a better way to tell his senior teammates goodbye.

    After watching six of his teammates get a chance to win the game, it was Cherney’s chance to send seniors off in style. With a packed crowd in the Tucson Convention Center on their feet and his teammates looking on, Cherney flipped a shot over ASU goaltender David Tanner glove hand to give the Arizona club hockey team a 4-3 shoot-out win and a two-game weekend sweep against the Sun Devils.

    After scoring the goal, Cherney had very little room to breathe as the Icecats chased him down and jumped on top of him to show their appreciation in the form of a dog pile.

    “”It was a lot of fun … it was great, but Boddy is the real hero tonight,”” Cherney said of the Icecats’ senior goaltender. “”He stopped six or seven guys to give me the opportunity to put one in.””

    Goalie Nick Boddy led the Icecats with 58 saves, including several spectacular saves in the third period and in overtime to give the Icecats the opportunity to get to the shootout.

    “”It was a great way to go out. …We had a lot of fun and it was definitely one of the best weekends I’ve had in all four years here,”” Boddy said. “”It’s a little sad knowing I’m never coming back here and never going to play in front of these fans again.””

    Boddy made saves on six of seven ASU shooters during the shootout, enabling Cherney to score the winner.

    “”I’m very proud of Nick Boddy,”” said UA head coach Leo Golembiewski. “”The big difference in the second semester is that Boddy played out of his mind. He just did an outstanding job. … You can’t win a game without having good goaltending, but we had great goaltending.””

    Though Cherney tallied the game-winning score, senior forward Joe Del Rossi made the key goal in the shootout that allowed the Icecats to continue after ASU forward Kyle Barry scored what looked like the game-winning goal. It turned out to be a seven-round shootout.

    After the game, fans stuck around to cheer on the seniors one last time as they were congratulated by their friends and family members. Many of them were visibly excited because of the close win, but, at the same time, sad that their collegiate careers were actually over.

    “”It’s sad to see it over, it’s the next chapter in my life I guess,”” said senior Robbie Nowinski. “”It’s been a lot of fun. I hate that I’m not going to be with my teammates every day.””

    Early in the third period, it seemed the Icecats would skate away with a comfortable win as they scored two goals in a 26-second span. Nowinski scored the first goal with 16:53 left, which gave Arizona a 2-1 lead, and forward Jordan Schupan scored his second goal of the game to give the Icecats a 3-1 lead just seconds later.

    Late in the period, ASU forward Chris Vassos scored a goal with 12:08 and forward Mark Chadwick scored to even the game at three with just more than three minutes before the end of regulation.

    “”I knew I had to give all my energy to keep our team in the game as long as possible,”” said Boddy. “”All our players were tired, but we made it through overtime and we won it in the shootout.””

    Schupan, a key cog in the win, returned to the ice after missing the nine previous games with a dislocated right shoulder. The sophomore made his presence felt, as he scored two goals in each of the games during the weekend. Though he played well, Schupan again dislocated his shoulder on Friday night but decided to play through it for the season finale on Saturday. He said he expects to have surgery on his shoulder during the offseason.

    “”He came out with four goals in two nights with a separated shoulder,”” Nowinski said. “”I can’t say enough about Schupan, he’s going to be great the next two years here.””

    On Friday night, the Icecats were able to win with ease, destroying ASU 6-0. Arizona was led by 42 saves from Boddy and a goal and two assists from Del Rossi.

    “”It felt great, coming into my last two games I knew I had to leave it all out on the line,”” Del Rossi said. “” I wanted something to be proud of in my last two games.””

    With the sweep of the Sun Devils, the Icecats, 14-13-2, finished the season a game over .500 after a season in which they started at 5-9-1.

    “”It was huge for me to see them (the seniors) win today,”” said Golembiewski. “”It was important that they did what they did.””

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