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Icecats, Billikens puck with each other

By Anthony Tarnowski
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, January 13, 2006
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The Arizona men's club hockey team looks to rebound from a frustrating winter break this weekend against a team it swept earlier this season at the University of St. Louis.

The puck drops at 7:30 tonight and tomorrow night in the Tucson Convention Center Arena.

After the Icecats (10-8) lost three close games in the ASU Desert Classic last weekend, Arizona head coach Leo Golembiewski is still optimistic about his team's chances in its first home game in over a month.

"We've got the 10th toughest strength of schedule in the ACHA (American Collegiate Hockey Association), and those were three top teams we played," Golembiewski said. "We're proud of the kids. We had some problems putting the puck in the net but definitely played well enough to win all three games."

Senior co-captain Cole Dunlop didn't let the losses get him down.

"It's always tough to lose three games, but how we lost them you can't be too upset," he said. "A bounce here, a call going our way, we could've won those games. It's different if they were three teams that we were supposed to beat."

Sophomore goaltender Luke Edwall returns home for the first time since November after sitting out due to an abdominal injury. Edwall first played in the Desert Classic and pleased Golembiewski with a trio of solid performances.

"Luke played all three games in the tournament, and we're overall pleased with how he played," Golembiewski said. "He kept us in all of those games."

"It's great to have Luke back," Dunlop said. "He's a great kid to have in the locker room too."

Icecats vs. St. Louis
Tonight, tomorrow
7:30 p.m.
TCC Arena

Edwall said he felt good to be back out on the ice for Arizona and used the three games over the break to get back to game shape and to see the puck.

"I wasn't 100 percent over those three games, but I'll be 100 percent for this weekend," he said.

The Icecats swept the Billikens in St. Louis Nov. 4 and 5 by scores of 12-9 and 6-2. St. Louis enters this weekend fresh off two big wins on the East Coast against Navy.

"They're certainly not a team you can overlook," Golembiewski said. "They're a solid defensive team and they gave us a good fight the first game back there in St. Louis."

Arizona hopes to get their offensive inconsistencies straightened out against St. Louis, especially Dunlop.

He exploded for eight goals in the first two games against the Billikens and said he hopes the sight of the St. Louis jerseys break him out of his current slump.

"I haven't put the puck in the net for a while," Dunlop said. "I hope this series will get the ball rolling for the rest of this semester."

The Icecats will still be without senior defenseman D.J. Pelletier, who remains sidelined with a broken wrist.

Freshman Robbie Nowinski leads the team with 17 goals, and freshman Matt Conover leads the team in points with 35.

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