By Anthony Tarnowski
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, December 2, 2005
After a weekend off from competition, the No. 12 Arizona men's club ice hockey team hosts No. 6 Weber State for a two-game series this weekend in the Tucson Convention Center Arena.
Both today's and tomorrow's games begin at 7:30 p.m.
Weber State (13-2-1) comes into the series having beaten No. 11 ASU four times on its way to six wins over ranked opponents.
"They're a good and very physical team," said Arizona head coach Leo Golembiewski. "They've been a juggernaut, really."
Arizona sophomore goaltender Luke Edwall underwent minor abdominal surgery over the Thanksgiving break and will be replaced by freshman goaltender Nick Boddy for this weekend's series, Golembiewski said.
Edwall said he had been experiencing some minor pain in the area for a while, and that he suffered the injury while stretching.
Golembiewski said he hopes to have Edwall back by January.
"At this level, I think it's important to have two talented goaltenders, and we have that here. We're confident in both our guys." Golembiewski said.
Boddy has seen limited action this season, appearing in three games, but has some big pads to fill in place of Edwall, who has played great between the pipes for the Icecats (8-3) all season, tallying four wins and a 90.8 save percentage.
Still, Boddy has shown some cases of early-game jitters, giving up soft goals in the early minutes of games against St. Louis and Cal State-Long Beach.
"It hurts losing Luke - he was the hot goaltender - but we're looking forward to Nick stepping it up for us," Golembiewski said.
The forward lines have been producing for the Icecats this year, averaging 5.9 goals per game.
Golembiewski has found some consistency in the first line, consisting of senior Cole Dunlop, sophomore Craig Irwin and freshman Tom Connell, and a dangerous scoring threat in the second line of freshmen Robbie Nowinski, the team's leading goal-scorer, points leader Matt Conover and Cody Morin.
Golembiewski has been looking for a third-line mix that could produce some scoring and has started to settle on a line consisting of sophomore Scott Marshall, freshman J.P. Hansen and junior Dave Cwik.
Consistency on the defensive side has been important to the Icecats all season. The pairings of senior D.J. Pelletier and freshman Kevin West, along with Mike Pelletier teamed with freshman Zack Stommen, will be expected to step up this weekend in front of Boddy.
The Icecats have been steadily climbing the American College Hockey Association rankings all season, going from unranked to start the season to No. 12. Wins against Weber State this weekend could see Arizona land a spot in the top 10.