By Anthony Tarnowski
Josh Fields/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Arizona Icecats from left: Senior defenseman D.J. Pelletier, sophomore goaltender Luke Edwall, freshman goaltender Nick Boddy and senior defenseman Mike Pelletier are looking for a win against rival ASU. The Icecats play ASU today and tomorrow in the TCC at 7:30 p.m.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, October 28, 2005
The Arizona men's club hockey team brings hockey back to Tucson in its 27th season tonight at 7:30 against rival ASU in the Tucson Convention Center.
The Icecats (2-1) return home from the ACHA Showcase in Youngstown, Ohio, last weekend, where they defeated preseason No. 6 Michigan-Dearborn 8-5 and Buffalo 7-2 but fell to No. 4 Rhode Island 3-2.
"The kids really made a statement, and we're proud as heck of them," said Arizona head coach Leo Golembiewski, who boasts a 534-138-20 career record.
The Icecats opened last year's slate with the ASU series at home and lost both games. By opening on the road against top competition, Arizona hopes to be better prepared for the challenge of playing against the Sun Devils (1-3), Golembiewski said.
"Going out on the road is the best way to start the season. ... There's always a lot of pressure playing ASU, but there's even more pressure on the road," he said.
The Icecats' offense exploded in Youngstown, racking up 17 goals in three games, with senior co-captains forward Cole Dunlop and defensemen Mike and D.J. Pelletier combining for 20 points.
Golembiewski said on his radio show Wednesday that he does not see the 2005-06 season as a rebuilding effort. The team's 34-man roster sports 13 freshmen, eight of whom are listed as forwards.
"Last year, we lacked a scoring punch, so this year, we went out and recruited some (scorers) and we're happy with the results," Golembiewski said.
Seniors Brian Pollock and Eric Kowalek join the Pelletier brothers to anchor an Arizona defense loaded with upperclassmen. Despite "interesting" officiating over the weekend, Golembiewski said, the unit's experience in penalty-killing situations will help produce wins.
D.J. Pelletier said on Golembiewski's show that the team's goaltending was as good in the Showcase as he's seen in his three years.
Sophomore goaltender Luke Edwall returns to mind the net for the Icecats this year, along with freshman Nick Boddy. Edwall will likely be the starter this season, but Golembiewski said he plans to rotate the two players.
The Icecats went 13-12-1 last year, 1-7 against the Sun Devils. ASU was swept by Weber State Oct. 14-15 and split its series with No. 2 Penn State last weekend.
Tonight's game can be heard on "The Fan" KFFN 1490 AM.