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News
Icecats set to embark on 25th season of play


Photo
CHRIS CODUTO/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Arizona junior forward Mickey Meehan (18) skates by an Arizona State defender last season at Tucson Convention Center. The Icecats open their season Oct. 27 at home against the Sun Devils.
By Brett Fera
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, September 9, 2003

The Arizona Icecats have spent the majority of the past 24 years with one thing on their mind.

Winning.

But while victory will never be too far off the top of the players' minds, the thought of celebration will be right there as well, as the team commemorates its 25th season as one of the premier college hockey programs in the country.

"The 25th anniversary is going to be a special year for us," Head Coach Leo Golembiewski said.

Golembiewski and his returning players held their first meeting of the year last week, also announcing the team's 2003-2004 schedule in the process.

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The 25th anniversary is going to be a special year for us.

- Leo Golembiewski
Icecats head coach

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Golembiewski said the team has a number of events planned for the celebration, including a St. Louis Blues Alumni game in Tucson. Golembiewski's mentor and great friend, NHL hall of famer Glenn Hall, spent his final four professional seasons with the Blues.

The Icecats' head coach also mentioned a plan to bring famed comedian Don Rickles to do a show in Tucson. Rickles was the team's honorary captain last season.

The team also has plans to try something a little different in regards to scheduling this season, as the Icecats begin their season with a weekday series against Arizona State, as opposed to the standard Friday and Saturday night sets the team plays.

The Icecats open up the year at home on Monday, Oct. 27 against instate rival ASU, while also playing host to games against familiar foes Weber State, Western Michigan, Saint Louis. All home games will be held once again at the 7,000-plus seat Tucson Convention Center arena known as the "Madhouse on Main Street."

With just three seniors on this years squad, Golembiewski said the team is young but experienced at the same time.

Headlining this year's corps is junior Mickey Meehan, who led all returnees with 45 points last season. Sophomore Cole Dunlop also returns up front after posting a stellar freshman campaign last season, tallying 44 points in the process.

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Don Holtz, Shaun Brooks and Andrew Fredricks will be looked toward to add to the team's offensive firepower, while Mike Smith, Brian Pollack, and Tim Wochok give the team solid depth at the forward positions.

"We do have eight guys offensively that we think can certainly help us," Golembiewski said. "We also have a great newcomer in transfer D.J. Pelletier."

D.J. Pelletier is the older brother of standout Icecat defensemen Mike Pelletier. The younger Pelletier will not be able to suit up for the team this year, however, due to academic troubles.

Pelletier's academic ineligibility coupled with an injury to bruising defenseman Keith Mitchell has left the defense a little thin, according to Golembiewski.

"Keith Mitchell is out until November with some back problems from lifting this summer," Golembieski said. "Mike Pelletier is out for the first semester as well, so we are lacking some of the returning firepower on defense we thought we'd have."

Standout junior goaltender Bryan Aronchick, among the best in the ACHA, should pick up some of the slack of defense for the Icecats, along with returning defensemen Justin Guerra and Drew Williamson.

"We're pretty excited about the year," said the longtime head coach, also noting that the rest of the team will be picked at the open tryout session, slated to last three to five days beginning Sept. 17.

Golembiewski said that more than three days may be necessary, with a solid group of incoming talent expected to attend the tryout.

"If it's too close to call, we'll take longer looks."

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