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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Glad to be home

Based on their attitude at the end of practice, you would never know the Arizona Icecats (2-5) have lost five of their seven games. The excitement, the optimism and the confidence among the team members don’t resemble those of an underperforming club.

“”You know we’re two and five, but it’s not indicative of the type of team we have,”” said senior co-captain Zach Cherney. “”You’re definitely going to see much higher quality hockey.””

The Icecats finally get to play in their own barn in front of thousands of fans for the first time this season as they take on Eastern Washington (4-1) tonight and tomorrow at 7:30 p.m.

“”The reason people come to play at the University of Arizona is because of the Madhouse on Main Street (Tucson Convention Center),”” said head coach Leo Golembiewski. “”It’s always nice to be home.””

While the few Icecat veterans are certainly glad to be home, the majority of the excitement comes from the first-year Icecats who have never played at a venue like the TCC in front of 4,000-6,000 fans.

“”I can’t put into words how excited I am for this game,”” said freshman forward Brian Slugocki. “”From what the older kids have been telling me about the fans, the whole atmosphere, I’m unbelievably excited.””

Ten to 15 Icecats expect to make their career Tucson Convention Center debuts tonight, and every one of them is equally amped. The majority of the new guys have never played in front of more than a couple of thousand fans, making tonight’s home opener that much more special.

“”I’m really pumped,”” said freshman forward Chad Wade. “”I’ve been thinking about it for the past two weeks.””

For a team that struggled with focus and effort at times in Las Vegas two weeks ago, a pair of games in front of their die-hard fans might be the perfect remedy for the Icecats.

“”I think the fan base is a really big thing,”” he said. “”It just lifts you up a lot more when you have that many people behind you.””

The Icecats fans will be able to see a healthy hockey team tonight, something Golembiewski says he hasn’t even seen yet this season. Golembiewski expects to run four solid lines against the very competitive Eastern Washington squad (4-1).

Starting freshman goaltender Dave Herman, who missed the final game against UNLV due to a knee injury, has been practicing all week and is expected to play.

The Icecats will finally have a full complement, and it couldn’t come at a better time. The Icecats need a win in the worst way, and playing in front of their loyal fans at the TCC will undoubtedly help their cause.

“”If you can’t get up for these games, you shouldn’t be playing,”” said junior co-captain Jordan Schupan. “”We need to start getting some sweeps.””

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