Arizona Daily Wildcat January 23, 1998
Icecats travel to Phoenix desperate for a winLast weekend the Arizona Icecats' playoff chances seemed to melt away.
In a pair of home games last weekend the Icecats lost and tied No. 10 Delaware, the team they needed to move ahead of.
It's no secret the Icecats are in dire need for victories considering that bids for the American Collegiate Hockey Association National Tournament are given out in two weeks.
That leaves Arizona with three games to improve its No. 11 national ranking. Only the top eight teams make it to nationals.
With their record now a dismal 9-9-1 and a five-game road trip starting Saturday night at Arizona State, the Icecats seemingly have a next-to-nothing chance to make it into the postseason for the 19th consecutive year.
But don't try telling them that.
"Everything's still up in the air," Icecat freshman right-wing Mike Graves said. "I don't think we're out of it yet."
The Ice Devils and Icecats face off tomorrow night at 8:30 at Veteran's Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix.
"We've got to go up there and beat them pretty badly if we want to be even considered (for nationals)," Graves said.
Arizona State is one of the teams ranked in the top eight, largely due to the fact that they have beaten the Icecats all three times this season.
ASU won on its home ice in November. One week later they swept the Icecats for the first time in team history in Tucson.
The Ice Devils outscored Arizona 21-6 in the three games.
Ice Devil goalie Greg Powers is rated as one of the best in the country and he showed it by stonewalling the Icecats - stopping 116 of 122 shots.
The Icecats are coming off a frustrating 3-2 loss and 5-5 tie against Delaware last weekend.
"We had this game," freshman defenseman Tyler Brush said after the tie.
The trip to Phoenix is just the start of a road trip that will also feature a swing through Delaware to play the Blue Hens and Towson State, followed by a two-game set with Colorado. The Icecats beat Colorado 13-7 and 6-2 earlier this season.