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ACHA Tournament team capsules

By Ryan Finley
Arizona Daily Wildcat
March 2, 1999
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The following are capsules of the 10 teams including Arizona, ranked by seeding, that advanced to the American Collegiate Hockey Association's national tournament, starting tomorrow in Newark, Del.:

No. 1 Iowa State Cyclones (33-4-2)

First Round: Bye

Players to watch: Brothers Derek and Darcy Anderson, both senior forwards. Derek was named the Central States Collegiate Hockey League's MVP, while brother Darcy was named to the CSCHL's first team of all stars.

Did you know: The Cyclones hosted last year's ACHA Tournament.

No. 2 Penn State Icers (23-3-3)

First Round: Bye

Players to watch: The Icers are led by a trio of senior forwards - Ed Bursisch, C.J. Patrick and Rich Podulka, all of whom look to defend the Icers' 1998 national title. Dressing three senior goalies, Penn State is experienced in the net.

Did you know: The Icers swept the Icecats at the Tucson Convention Center in early January.

No. 3 Michigan-Dearborn Wolves (24-9-1)

First Round: Icecats

Players to Watch: UMD is the 1999 CSCHL runners-up. Jayme McKay and Trevor Rosen lead an experienced Wolves squad, a team which lost 10-4 to Iowa State in the CSCHL's tournament finals.

Did you know: Only three teams in the tournament (Illinois, Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan) have lost more games this season than UMD.

No. 4 Ohio Bobcats (20-8-3)

First Round: Delaware

Players to Watch: Goaltender Mike Lee played with the Bobcats during their ACHA title wins in 1996 and 1997.

Did you know: The Bobcats lost last year's ACHA title game to Penn State.

No. 5 Delaware Blue Hens (20-8-3)

First Round: Ohio

Players to Watch: Sophomore goalie Bjorn Christiano has led the Hens through a rigorous season, which included a 3-3 tie with the Icecats in Newark. The Hens are ranked fifth in the nation despite finishing the season sixth in the ECHA.

Did you know: The Hens are the tournament hosts.

No. 6 Arizona Icecats (22-3-2)

First Round: Michigan-Dearborn

Players to Watch: Lately the Icecats have maintained their composure despite an unsettled goaltending rotation, untimely injuries and a general inability to bury the puck in clutch situations. Sophomores Paul Dorn and Marc Harris have led the team in points. The goaltender, be it Mark Meister or Jason Morgan, needs to improve on some inadequate goaltending of late. "We need to handle the goalie situation with kid gloves," Icecats head coach Leo Golembiewski said.

Did you know: This is the Icecats' 17th trip to the ACHA tournament in their 20 years of existence.

No. 7 Towson Tigers (24-8-1)

First Round: Western Michigan

Players to Watch: The 1999 Eastern Collegiate Hockey Association Consolation Champions are led by seniors Todd Buchler and Joe Sakalas, whose physical play has frustrated less-physical teams all year. Goalie Derek Reibold has stepped up since entering the ECHA tournament.

Did you know: The Tigers are one of two teams to defeat the Icecats all season.

No. 8 Illinois Fighting Illini (14-11-1)

First Round: Eastern Michigan

Players to Watch: The Illini have defeated No. 1 seed Iowa State three times this season, but inconsistent losses to teams such as the Northwest Chargers and Rhode Island have left them with an identity problem. Led by senior co-captains Bill Luslow (F), Mike Bunchill (D) and Jeremy Hayes (F), the Illini hope to return to their status as giant-killers.

Did you know: The Illini are the only Big 10 team in the ACHA Tournament.

No. 9 Eastern Michigan Eagles (17-16-3)

First Round: Illinois

Players to Watch: The Eagles, who placed fourth in the CSCHL, are led by CSCHL All Stars Adam Patterson, Mike Perino, Dave Dresch, Dan Marzetics and Mike McNamara. The CSCHL's tournament was won by the home team, Iowa State. The Eagles, despite a poor showing in the tournament, maintained their ninth spot in the ACHA rankings.

Did you know: This is Eastern Michigan's ninth straight trip to the ACHA Tournament.

No. 10 Western Michigan Stallions (17-12-0)

First Round: Towson

Players to Watch: The Stallions are led by a lone senior, co-captain Chad Parr, a forward. The 6-foot-1, 200 pound senior will be instrumental if Western Michigan is to prove to be the spoiler for the tournament.

Did you know: Each WMU player pays $775 in out-of-pocket expenses prior to joining the team.