Icecats not overlooking ASU despite 55-game domination

By Larry Mullenix

Arizona Daily Wildcat


That is how many consecutive games that the Arizona club hockey team has won against Arizona State.

But that doesn't mean the Icecats (11-0) are looking past its intra-state rival to the north.

Icecat coach Leo Golembiewski, who gained his 300th win as head coach of the Icecats last Saturday, said his team needs to be prepared if it hopes to gain victories against the Ice Devils tonight and tomorrow night at 7:30 at the Tucson Convention Center.

"People are under the impression that because we have won 55 consecutive games that ASU isn't a good team," Golembiewski said. "They are very good. They have some new guys who can really play.

"We had problems with them when we played them in our first game in October (the Icecats won 7-4), so it will be interesting to see how much we have learned from that point."

The Icecats will be at less than full strength because of the loss of Ricky Pope, who is sidelined with a sprained knee.

"We are pleased about the prognosis of his injury because it gives us the hope that his recovery time will be shorter," Golembiewski said. "He is a very important part of the team and it is hard to play without him."

Because of Pope's absence, the Icecats will use a rotation of five defensemen.

As for the front line, it won't be freshman-dominated like it was last Friday.

"They (the Ice Devils) are a better team than South Dakota was and thus we don't have to luxury of playing the freshmen as our first line," Golembiewski said.

Golembiewski is extremely happy with the play of the Steve Hutchings, Greg Mitchell and Brian Consolino line, which has been on a scoring binge the last four games. Hutchings, in fact, has scored at least a hat-trick in each of them.

"I believe that the Oztekin, Soules, and Battaglia line has done well also, but I'm not satisfied with the play of the third line, especially the play of Kiva Gippo and Peter Scott, both of whom have excessive penalty minutes," Golem- mid

biewski said.

Golembiewski said there will be changes if the level of play doesn't improve.

A perfect example of this type of disruptive play was when Gippo received a game misconduct for a violent exchange. The ejection forced Golembiewski to shuffle the lineup to make up for the loss.

"This is a job that we have to go out and do every night," Golembiewski said. "Sometimes you have to go ahead with some problems, but that is how you mature as a team. Overall, we are undefeated and have been dominating, but as a coach you always look for perfection."

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