By Anthony Tarnowski
Jacob Konst/Arizona Daily Wildcat
An Icecats player sits in the penalty box while being cheered on by fans during their win over Houston on Saturday. The Icecats host in-state rival ASU on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the Tucson Convention Center Arena.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, December 7, 2005
In a series that usually makes for some of the most exciting ice hockey and the best home crowds of the season, ASU returns to Tucson to meet the No. 12 Arizona men's club ice hockey team on Friday and Saturday.
Both games start at 7:30 p.m. at the Tucson Convention Center Arena.
This weekend will mark the third and fourth meetings between these teams in a span of six weeks. The Icecats (10-3) split its first series with ASU (4-8) Oct. 28-29
"It seems like any sport with our school and them, you just throw it all out. Everything goes off the books with this rivalry," said Arizona head coach Leo Golembiewski.
Arizona lost 3-2 Oct. 28 despite out shooting the Sun Devils 40-28, as senior goaltender Colin Cook kept ASU in the game until the Sun Devils scored in the final minutes of the third period for the win.
Arizona came back to win 3-1 behind goals from sophomore forward Scott Marshall, co-captain Mike Pelletier and freshman forward Tom Connell.
After Saturday night's post-victory scrum between the Icecats and Weber State, Mike Pelletier and freshmen Dave Cwik and Robbie Nowinski will be suspended for Friday's game for fighting.
"It's a very unfortunate thing. It was totally precipitated by Weber State," Golembiewski said. "I was on the south end of the rink, just applauding my players, and all hell broke loose."
Co-captain D.J. Pelletier will undergo surgery this week to repair a broken finger and bones in his wrist and will be sidelined for 4-6 weeks. One of Arizona's leaders on defense, Pelletier suffered the injury at the start of Friday's game on a clean check into the boards.
Despite the injuries to Pelletier and goaltender Luke Edwall, the Icecats played well in their sweep of the Wildcats last weekend.
It's a very unfortunate thing. It was totally precipitated by Weber State. I was on the south end of the rink, just applauding my players, and all hell broke loose
- Leo Golembiewski, Arizona head coach
Freshmen defensemen Zack Stommen and Kevin West kept up their solid defensive play in D.J.'s absence, and goaltender Nick Boddy was sensational in the nets, with 88 saves for the series.
Golembiewski said he mixed the lines around during the Weber State series with great success and will likely have to do so again this weekend.
While the group of co-captain Cole Dunlop, sophomore forward Craig Irwin and Connell will likely stay intact, Arizona's most productive scoring line will need a replacement for Nowinski to play alongside fellow freshmen Cody Morin and Matt Conover.
Marshall or freshman forward J.P. Hansen could fill that hole or play other roles this weekend, Golembiewski said.
The injuries and suspensions leave the Icecats without two of their defensive leaders in the Pelletiers and its leading scorer Nowinski.
After the ASU series, the Icecats will head up to Phoenix for the ASU Desert Classic Dec. 5-8, where they will face Iowa State, Penn State and ASU.