Icecats relying on youth in net

By Shoshana Burrus
Arizona Daily Wildcat
October 22, 1996

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Leo Golembiewski


With 13 players and four starters returning from last year's squad, expectations should be high for the Arizona Icecats.

However, with 10 freshmen and just four seniors on this year's roster, youth is again the key word for the Icecats, who open their season Friday night against Stanford at the Tucson Convention Center.

The Icecats are youngest at a position where experience counts most: goaltender.

Last year's goalie, Joel Hilshey, will not return this season.

"He is not playing for personal reasons," Icecats head coach Leo Golembiewski said at the team's media day yesterday at the TCC.

Hilshey's departure opened the door for freshman Beau LeMire, a native of Wilmette, Ill., who was the top high school goalie there.

Golembiewski said LeMire has gained experience in the net, where he has seen 400 shots on goal at any given practice.

"LeMire's positioning is good and we're happy with that," he said. "He's got good reflexes and we think he's going to be able to get the job done."

Golembiewski said the two other goalies, returning junior Eric Holton and freshman Mike Tesi, from Salpointe High School, may also see time.

The offense for the Icecats will continue to be a fast-break attack, with the emphasis on the team's speed and quickness. Fancy stick-handlers need not apply.

"The puck's got to be in the net," Golembiewski said. "Playmakers are nice, but they slow things down and that's not our style."

Getting the puck in the net will be no problem for center Ben Ruston, a transfer from Iowa State who had 25 goals and 27 assists as a sophomore.

Ruston will be joined on the line by sophomore Andy Knick and senior co-captain Peter Scott. Knick is the fastest player on the Icecats and tallied 18 goals and 25 assists last season. Scott is a two-year starter and had 20 goals and 37 assists last seaso n.

Sophomores Bob Majka and Paul Juran will return again on defense. Majka started last year and scored four goals and had 13 assists. Juran had four assists last year while splitting time with senior defenseman John Muntz.

The Icecats play 20 home games, but will have to endure a month-long road trip that includes games at two-time defending national champion Ohio.