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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Icecats net 1-1 weekend

    Two similar games provided two entirely different results at the Tucson Convention Center for the No. 24 Arizona club hockey team as it flew around the rink in its 7-4 win over No. 12 Oakland University (Michigan) Friday, but failed to recapture that same groove in Saturday’s 5-0 defeat.

    While the end result left something to be desired, UA head coach Leo Golembiewski said the weekend was an overall success and hopes the team draws from the positives of beating the Grizzlies – the American Collegiate Hockey Association Division I defending champions – on Friday night rather than dwelling on Saturday’s game so it can close out the season on as high a note as possible.

    “”(The main difference between the two games) was our overall team defense,”” said UA goalie Nick Boddy, who stopped 93 of the 102 shots he faced in the two games. “”Our forwards and defenders weren’t able to pick up everybody and they were getting a lot of good chances. Some of those chances they shouldn’t get at all.””

    The pucks that bounced in Arizona’s favor Friday night just wouldn’t materialize during Saturday’s contest, and the winning team’s fourth goal of each night best exemplified that shift in luck.

    On Saturday, it was Oakland defender Collin Ronayne who corralled a loose puck just as he left the penalty box and strolled in and scored on a breakaway to take the wind out of Arizona’s sails.

    After a back and forth start to the Saturday night game, Boddy couldn’t stop Oakland forward Brent Cooper’s breakaway with 2:39 to go in the first period.

    The early goal deflated the Icecats (14-8-1), and forward Cody Austin of Oakland (15-8) capitalized by scoring 30 seconds into the second period. Cooper tallied his second of the night just five minutes later, and then the frustration mounted for Arizona.

    “”I think Oakland

    We have a shot. It’s kind of out of our hands now, but as long as we finish the season well, there’s not much else we can do.

    -Robbie Nowinski,
    Icecat forward

    came out a little better than we did on Saturday,”” said assistant captain Robbie Nowinski. “”After their first goal, it swung momentum the other way and they were able to keep going with it. We missed a couple of chances early and it just didn’t go our way for some reason.””

    The rest of the period was littered with penalties. UA defender Austin Capobianco got sent off for a spearing penalty less than a minute after Arizona allowed its third goal of the evening.

    In the third period, Nowinski added to his tally as he scored three more goals to give himself a career high five goals on the night – the shorthanded effort, two on the powerplay, one at even strength and one empty netter.

    “”I just felt like I was able to put away my chances,”” Nowinski said. “”I usually get a few scoring chances each game and I’ll put a few in, but I was really seeing the puck well and shooting well on Friday.””

    The Icecats’ chances at a postseason berth are waning, but they aren’t concerned with moving up in the rankings at the moment. Six games remain before the final ACHA rankings come out – the next four against rival ASU – and there is still time to try and prove that Arizona is one of the best 16 club hockey teams in the country.

    “”We have a shot,”” Nowinski said. “”It’s kind of out of our hands now, but as long as we finish the season well, there’s not much else we can do. (The voters) haven’t showed us much respect all year, and I can’t imagine they’ll start now but I hope they will.””

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