If the Cal State-Long Beach men's club hockey team came into Tucson with hopes of moving up a division in the American Collegiate Hockey Association, it probably reconsidered them on the ride back home.
The No. 13 Arizona men's club hockey team swept the 49ers over the weekend, following a 4-2 win on Friday with a 14-2 bashing Saturday night in the Tucson Convention Center Arena.
Those things certainly fell freshman forward Robbie Nowinski's way Saturday night as the Icecats scored 30 seconds into the game and didn't slow down until the final buzzer.
The Icecats (7-2) scored their 14 goals on two Long Beach goaltenders, with the Arizona line of freshmen Cody Morin, Matt Conover and Nowinski accounting for eight goals and 18 points. Nowinski and Conover each finished the game with a hat trick, pushing Nowinski's team-leading goal total to 14. Conover is the team's points leader with 26.
"Coach just put us together, and we play well together," Morin said. "I played with Conny (Conover) last year in Phoenix. We know where we are on the ice. We know how to find each other."
Eight different Icecats scored Saturday, as forwards Craig Irwin and Cole Dunlop got their 22nd and 23rd points, respectively, of the season.
Freshman goaltender Nick Boddy started Saturday's game and looked shaky early, giving up two goals on the Long Beach's first three shots, but settled in and left the 49ers scoreless for the rest of the game.
The ice was seemingly slanted toward 49er goaltender Mike Bergman for all 60 minutes Friday, as Arizona put 78 shots on goal.
"The guys were all over the place. We threw everything but the kitchen sink at them," said Arizona head coach Leo Golembiewski. "Their goaltender just played a great game."
Nowinski started the scoring for the Icecats early in the first period, as Arizona jumped out to a 4-0 lead after goals from senior defenseman Mike Pelletier, Irwin and freshman forward John Hansen.
Sloppy play to start the second period let the 49ers back in the game, as center Alex Florio picked up a turnover in the Arizona zone and deposited it for their first goal.
Long Beach struck again 10 minutes later when Arizona goalie Luke Edwall attempted to play a rebound in front of the net and Joe Nalley poked it in.
There was a controversy late in the second period when referees called off what looked like a Nowinski goal. Nowinski had slipped the puck behind Bergman off a rebound, but the light behind the net didn't go off.
"I could've swore it went in the net," Nowinski said. "Sometimes things just don't go your way. I thought they got it wrong."