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Icecats hoping to stay undefeated on the road

By Ryan Finley
Arizona Daily Wildcat
February 12, 1999
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The No. 4-ranked Arizona Icecats (18-3-2) travel to Boulder this weekend to take on the No. 19 Colorado Buffaloes in an attempt to stay undefeated on the road, the only blemish being a 3-3 tie at Delaware last week.

The Icecats have already accepted a bid to the American Collegiate Hockey Association's national championship tournament, which takes place March 3-6 in Newark, Del., home of the Delaware Blue Hens. Seeding will be determined once regular season play is complete.

The Icecats are led by sophomore left wing and co-captain Paul Dorn, whose aggressive offensive play and surgeon's shot has vaulted him into one of the nation's top scorers. The starting goaltender will either be freshman Jason Morgan or junior Mark Meister. Although Meister literally carried the team throughout their undefeated first half of the season, Morgan has stepped up on the road, earning respect from the coaching staff.

"We're planning on using all three goalies this trip," Icecats head coach Leo Golembiewski said, with the third goalie being junior Mike Tesi. "We'll have to see how that goes. Meister's getting back to where he was before the break."

The last time the Icecats and Buffaloes met, Oct. 30-31, the UA won 4-3 in overtime on a Friday and dominated the Saturday game, winning 7-3.

The Buffaloes, although playing a physical defensive game, showed little offense against Meister, who kept his cool throughout a game which featured innumerable penalties and resulting fights.

"They came in to the TCC a little cocky," Golembiewski said. "They thought they had their program turned around. But after we beat them twice, we took a little wind outta their sails."

The Icecats will have to go into the game with a physical mentality, needing solid checking from both Pavel Jandura and Rodney Glassman, whose size (6-foot-7, 240 pounds) alone should give them a solid advantage.

The Buffaloes have lost 10 of their last 11 games, leaving the team in a tailspin. Colorado has only won a single game on the road, defeating Illinois at the Chicago College Hockey Classic on Nov. 27. An 11-1 drubbing at the hands of Iowa State the following evening ended any hopes of a turnaround. The Buffaloes haven't won a game since, enduring an almost three-month long dry spell.

"They're capable," Golembiewski said. "They've beaten a top-10 team in Illinois. They're dangerous."

And although defeating a team that has already been beaten senseless by an egregious season seems to be an easy task, the Icecats need to be careful.

"Any time you can go into somebody's barn and beat them, it's a big accomplishment," Golembiewski said. "I'm not so much worried about CU the team as I am about us going in there and executing. It seems everyone wants to beat the Icecats."

The Icecats return home next weekend to end the season against rival Arizona State, a team which the Icecats have beaten four times this season. A season sweep against the Sun Devils would help vault an already rolling Icecats franchise into the postseason.