Icecats split series against ASU
Tuesday October 30, 2001
After a disappointing opening night at the Tucson Convention Center, the UA Icecats rebounded in dominating fashion and salvaged a split of their two-game series against Arizona State this weekend.
The Icecats squandered a two-goal advantage in the opener and fell to their in-state rivals 3-2, before exacting revenge in an 8-1 victory on Saturday night.
While talent alone could not get the job done Friday night, the Icecats (3-1) refocused their efforts for their second game against ASU and played a more disciplined and less selfish style.
The home opener saw ASU outwork the Icecats and take advantage of every UA miscue.
After goals by freshman Shaun Brooks and senior Bill Pardue staked the Icecats to a 2-0 lead, a string of five consecutive, second-period UA penalties enabled the Sun Devils to even the contest after two periods.
The lone goal in the third came when UA freshman goalie Bryan Aronchick missed an attempted poke check on ASU sophomore forward Christian Quint. Quint slid by Aronchick and slipped the puck into an empty net for the eventual game-winning goal.
"I had to make the play because there was a guy coming down the off wing. I just missed it, and I got nailed," said Aronchick, who lost his helmet in the collision with Quint.
It was one of the few miscues the freshman netminder made during his TCC debut, saving 30 of 33 shots. The Icecats out-shot ASU 35-33 in a tightly contested battle that saw plenty of rough stuff in between and after the whistles.
Visibly frustrated with their inability to get past ASU goalie Dan Woog on Friday, a more relaxed and composed Icecats team controlled the tempo of their second meeting with ASU from the opening face off.
Senior captain Kyle Neary led the barrage with a hat trick and Brooks added his second goal of the weekend as the Icecats found themselves ahead 3-1 after the first period.
UA erased any doubt of another second period letdown in game two, as they kept the pressure on the Sun Devils and scored the only three goals of the period to put the game out of reach.
"We were trying to make sure that they knew that it was a fluke," Aronchick said of his team's relentless focus on Saturday night.
"We still have a lot of room to improve, but I think that first loss really served as a wake up call."
The Icecats return to action this weekend at the TCC as the University of Colorado Buffaloes charge into Tucson.