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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Icecats win season opener against ASU

    SCOTTSDALE – The temperature inside the Alltel Ice Den was so cold you could see your breath. The Arizona men’s club hockey team thrived in the frigid temperatures last night, defeating ASU 3-1.

    The Icecats (1-0) opened their season against their arch-rival in a hotly contested game that featured a lot of hitting and a lot of penalties.

    “”We

    I absolutely think we can keep this up. If we keep this up, there’s no reason we can’t go to nationals.

    -Nick Boddy,
    Icecats goalie

    didn’t know what kind of team we had, but we played a great game,”” said Icecats head coach Leo Golembiewski. “”We rolled two lines, five defensemen, because of the intensity, and we outplayed them all three periods.””

    The Icecats got off to a fast start with good forechecking, and after an ASU turnover, forward Jordan Schupan slid a pass to wing Craig Irwin, who then fed Keith Patterson with a beautiful crossice pass.

    Patterson slapped the puck into the back of the net for a 1-0 Arizona lead at the 1:21 mark in the first period.

    Hitting was the story of the game, and ASU gave a lot of it. Nearly every whistle caused a fracas between the teams, especially when play was near either goaltender.

    The Icecats sustained good pressure throughout the first period. After a couple of Arizona penalties, the Devils had a 5-on- power play for about 50 seconds. The Icecats played good defense, sacrificing their bodies to keep the puck out of the net. Defenseman Max Sliwinski, in particular, made several diving pass breakups.

    “”I thought our penalty kill was great,”” Golembiewski said. “”We wondered about the officiating a bit, especially during the second, but we played great.””

    The second period featured an avalanche of penalties, many against the Icecats. Three of the team’s seven penalties came within 11 seconds of one another.

    Still, the defense was solid, laying out and blocking shots left and right before they could arrive at Arizona goalie Nick Boddy, who nonetheless made numerous saves in the contest.

    “”I felt really good,”” Boddy said. “”I felt a little nervous after the first period, but the defense held up. They played great, they let me see the puck and that’s all I can ask for.

    “”(Nick) Boddy played great,”” Golembiewski added. “”Game puck goes to him.”” After winning a possession battle behind the net, Matt Conover dished a pretty pass to Evan Marro, who deposited the puck for a 2-0 Icecats lead.

    The intensity then began to pick up, and both teams started to throw their weight around. ASU’s Greg Langston seemed to instigate most the hitting. The Sun Devils had many chances to score but just couldn’t convert.

    The third was a cleaner, faster period with no real action until late. ASU’s Ryan Clark put to bed hopes of a shutout when his shot went in off of an Icecat to cut the lead to one with 1:15 left in regulation.

    Arizona iced the game with 0.2 seconds left when Robbie Nowinski scored an empty-net goal.

    “”I absolutely think we can keep this up,”” Boddy added regarding Arizona’s play last night. “”If we keep this up, there’s no reason we can’t go to nationals.””

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