By Kyle Kensing
EVAN CARAVELLI/Arizona Daily Wildcat
UA freshman forward Craig Irwin takes a shot on a breakaway during the Wildcats' 6-5 loss to Weber State Saturday at the Tucson Convention Center Arena.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, November 12, 2004
The UA Icecats hit the road for the first time this season tonight and Saturday against the St. Louis Billikens.
Arizona, ranked No. 20 in the latest American Collegiate Hockey Association poll, hopes a change of scenery will result in a change of its early season misfortune.
The Icecats are off to a 1-4-1 start after three tough series at home, including two against top-10 teams Arizona State and Weber State.
Meanwhile St. Louis, who opened play a month before UA, has struggled, starting its season just 3-13.
UA senior forward Mickey Meehan said he looks forward to the year's first road swing.
"It's the first time a lot of these guys will get to play on the road," he said of the young UA squad.
Arizona has shown its youthfulness early into the 2004-05 campaign, but has also seen improvement game to game.
After scoring just three goals its first two outings, UA has picked up their offense to the tune of 20 goals in the past four games.
Icecat head coach Leo Golembiewski said after the Weber State series Arizona is showing quick growth, but there are still plenty of bumps in the road ahead.
"We're done with malaise," he said. "This a new year, a new team."
UA is coming off a 2003-04 season that saw the Icecats miss the postseason for the first time in program history.
Golembiewski said the mistakes of last season must be erased, and that begins with a team-first attitude.
Arizona has toyed with a variety of line combinations thus far. UA's on-ice face will change again this week, with junior defenseman D.J. Pelletier out with a broken hand.
Golembiewski said he is looking for combinations that will work well together, and he will play those players regardless of seniority.
"We're going to play the five guys who want to win," he said.
Arizona looks to start a win streak at St. Louis' expense in the two-game set at SLU's Summit Center Arena.
The Billikens, a member of the Central Collegiate Hockey League of the ACHA, come into this weekend's affair on a six-game losing streak.
SLU dropped a pair to No. 2 Ohio University in its last performance Friday and Saturday.
Meehan said he is excited to get back in action after the tightly-contested games with WSU.
"I'm just looking forward to getting out on the ice anywhere," he said.