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Friday October 27, 2000

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Icecats face Colorado in season opener

Headline Photo

By Chris Suffecool

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Team needs to shoot better to be successful against Buffaloes

The Arizona Icecats will face Colorado tonight in their home opener at the Tucson Convention Center.

The Icecats (1-1 overall) are coming off a split last weekend against Saint Louis University in St. Louis and will begin a 12-game homestand with the Buffaloes (1-4) tonight.

Icecats head coach Leo Golembiewski said that the team is prepared for its home opener.

"Opening night is always exciting" he said. "It's a brand new season, and guys have a chance to skate on their home ice and I think they're excited as can be."

Icecats players are excited for the game as well, though they differ on what they are expecting from the young Colorado team.

"I don't really know too much about them," freshman goaltender Brian Schilling said. "From what I hear, they'll probably be as good as Saint Louis University."

Junior defender Tom Wood said UA has a definite advantage against the Buffaloes.

"I think we should beat Colorado" he said. "We're definitely a stronger team."

The Icecats won all four meetings with Colorado last season, outscoring the Buffaloes 32-9 in the process.

"We've been playing them for 15 or 16 years." Golembiewski said. "I think they're our oldest rivalry, them and ASU."

If the Icecats are going to sweep CU this weekend, they will have to shoot the puck better than they did against St. Louis.

While the Icecats outshot the Billikens 40-30 in their loss last Sunday, the team scored just one goal.

Golembiewski said that the Icecats have focused on their lack of scoring in practice.

"We've been working on shooting this week (and) shot selection." he said. "We hit quite a few posts last weekend. I didn't think our shooting was as crisp as it had to be."

Golembiewski hopes to see a few more goals netted this weekend by his Icecats and said his team is ready to play in front of a rowdy crowd at "The Madhouse on Main Street."

Schilling - who will play in his first home game as an Icecat after a season at St. Norbert's College (Minn.) - is ready for an intense experience.

"I know a lot of the rookies are really excited" he said. "It's the closest thing to the big show. We get a lot of fans, and they really do it up for us. Personally, I can't wait."

The puck drops at 7:30 both tonight and tomorrow night.