New Year an 'upset'-ting time for Icecats

By Craig Degel
Arizona Daily Wildcat
January 11, 1996

The sixth-ranked Icecats rang in the New Year last weekend with two upset victories over No. 3 Eastern Michigan at the Tucson Convention Center.

The Icecats improved their record to 11-3 with a 6-5 nail-biter in front of 5, 505 fans Saturday.

The Eagles jumped out to a 2-0 lead after scoring twice in a 16- second span halfway through the first period.

Icecat defenseman Mark Thawley's power-play goal from just inside the blue line at 12:39 made it 2-1. Just 35 seconds later Norm Bunch notched his second goal of the game and the Eagles went into the first intermission leading 3-1.

"We didn't come out strong in the first," Icecat coach Leo Golembiewski said. "If they would've shot better they could've had five or six."

Better shooting in the second period was no problem for Icecat freshman center Ben Ruston, who scored all four Icecat goals in the second period. The teams went into the second intermission tied at five.

"The way Ruston is playing is why we recruited him," Golembiewski said.

Ruston had two goals in the Icecats' 9-3 win Friday night.

Freshman Brian Meehan put the Icecats on top three minutes into the third and then Arizona hung on the rest of the way.

The Icecats survived a scare halfway through the period when an apparent Eagle goal was waved off because the net had been dislodged.

Eastern Michigan pulled its goalie with just over a minute remaining for a sixth attacker, but Icecat goalie Joel Hilshey, who tallied 28 saves for the game, saved two more in the final minute to preserve the win.

"Right now I'd say it's us and Ohio," Ruston said. "Eastern Michigan is a good team but we're better."