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Icecats deep freeze their competition

By Brett Fera
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday January 27, 2003

The No. 7 UA Icecats have never been known to have trouble scoring. The story was the same however for No. 11 Saint Louis, as the Icecats dropped the Billikens on Friday and Saturday, 10-6 and 12-7.

The road trip is the Icecats first action away from the confines of the Tucson Convention Center since a 4-2 victory over No. 5 Delaware on November 9.

The win brings the Icecats overall record to 17-4, with a 2-2 record away from home. Since losing to Delaware 4-3 on Nov. 8, bringing their overall record to 3-3, the Icecats have been virtually unbeatable, the lone loss a 6-5 setback at the hands of rival Arizona State.

Winning 14 of its last 15 games, Arizona was able to up its overall record to 17-4, while bringing its road record to 2-2, with the other road loss coming at the hands of top-ranked Penn State.

The 13 goals allowed by the Icecats defense was one more than it allowed total over its previous six games. With the offensive front taking business as usual, the Icecats were still able to win both games handily, despite stumbling defensively against the Billikens.

The star of the weekend for the Icecats was sophomore forward Mickey Meehan, who entered the game hungry after not dressing for the team's previous two games against Robert Morris College due to academic sanctions.

After scoring two goals during Friday's opener, Meehan added a hat trick to the table on Saturday, increasing his season total to 20, trailing teammate Shaun Brooks by just a goal for the team lead. Brooks also added a goal of his own during Saturday's win. Meehan was not the only hot hand for the Icecats, as freshman forward Cole Dunlop and senior forward Matt Naylor each tallied hat tricks as well on Saturday.

Dunlop, the freshman phenom from St. Louis, says that the team is focused on taking their game to the next level.

"This was just another step in the road of our ultimate goal of winning a national championship," Dunlop said.

The elder Naylor, a player that Dunlop and the rest of the team's younger players look to for leadership on the ice, shared the same sentiments as his teammate and reminds that the rest of the team is on the same page as well.

"These are two real big wins in gearing up for nationals," Naylor said. "We've still got a lot of work to go before we get there, but these wins help push us that way."

Up next for the Icecats will be a two-game set at No. 17 Arizona State on Friday and Saturday. The Icecats have not lost since losing 6-5 to ASU at home on Dec. 7, with their current, season-long win streak reaching eight this weekend.

"We have to take it one game, one weekend at a time," Dunlop said.


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