By Brett Fera
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday November 15, 2002
The No. 8 Arizona Icecats return home this weekend to face Colorado State in a two-game set, starting tonight at the Tucson Convention Center. They square off against the Rams tomorrow night as well, with the puck dropping for both games at 7:30.
The Icecats' (4-3) return to action in Tucson could not come at a better time, following the team's three-game road trip last weekend that saw losses to Penn State and Delaware, 7-3 and 4-3, before it was able the take the final game on Saturday over the same Delaware squad, 4-2.
Sophomore goaltender Bryan Aronchick had an impressive series against Delaware, allowing just seven goals on 84 shots, for a .916 save percentage as the team's last line of defense. Icecat senior defenseman Bill Pardue continued to show why he was named one of the team's captains before the start of the season.
Despite not appearing in the box score as much as his teammates, Pardue's contributions for the team are unmatched, said head coach Leo Golembiewski.
Offensively, the scoring output continues to stay balanced throughout the roster, while a few players have been seeing their names on the scoresheet a lot as of late.
Juniors Matt Naylor and Andrew Fredericks and sophomore Shaun Brooks seem to be firing on all cylinders.
The Icecats' most productive line led the team with 13 goals and 14 assists through seven games, including a four-goal night by Fredericks against ASU on opening night.
Forward Cole Dunlop seems to have found his niche as well. The freshman has netted goals in four straight games dating back to the matchup with Utah State. They were the first four scores of his Icecat career.
"The first couple of games, I was just getting used to this level of play," Dunlop said. "But once that first goal went in, I started to get into a groove, and I've finally found a comfort zone out there with my linemates (Nick Woods and Brian Pollack)."
"We went in and played the No. 1 (Penn State) and No. 4 (Delaware) teams, so we knew we had to play well," Dunlop said. "We didn't have a bad weekend, even though we lost two. We just need to start winning, one game at a time."
Beginning with tonight's contest with CSU, the Icecats jumpstart a 12-game homestand that will last over two months, concluding with games against Robert Morris College (Ill) on Jan. 18.
Despite last week's setbacks, including the loss at the hands of top-ranked Penn State, the head coach knows that his players have their heads in the right place.
"The key to developing our club is to learn from each game we play," Golembiewski said. "We know that we are going to have our hands full with Colorado State, but we also know a lot more about our team than we did before we went back East. This team isn't going to quit out there."