ICECATS

'An old tradition' honors Slugocki in Saturday win

2011-01-10T00:00:00Z 'An old tradition' honors Slugocki in Saturday winChris Davis Special To The Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Friday's 7-0 loss to Adrian College provided more than enough motivation for the Arizona Icecats on Saturday night.

But not one to take chances, coach Leo Golembiewski offered even more of an incentive.

Arizona (9-7-1) rebounded from its first shutout loss of the season with one of its most impressive victories of the year, 5-4 over No. 5 Adrian College.

"I just think we didn't want to get embarrassed at home again," Andrew Murmes said.

"Tonight the team came in ready to play."

Brian Slugocki's first-period goal not only got Arizona on the scoreboard first but fattened his piggy bank as well.

The sophomore captain received a 10-cent reward as a result of his performance.

"It's an old tradition," Golembiewski said.

"You come off of a shutout and get the first goal, you get a shiny new dime. It was an incentive." 

Coupled with the change, the Icecats focused on playing 60 minutes of simple hockey.

This meant fewer "cutesy passes" and an emphasis placed on working the puck deep and executing in transition from defense to offense. 

The plan worked, and Murmes was one Icecat who clearly benefitted. The freshman tallied a pair of goals and was aided by the play of Blake Richards, who also had a goal and four assists. 

"Blake helped the entire lineup tonight," Murmes said. "He was the MVP." 

Arizona rallied from one-goal deficits twice in the contest and finally took the lead for good at 5-4 with Jordan Schupan's power-play goal with 7:19 remaining. 

Led by defensemen Geordy Weed and Nick Stolz, the Icecats then held on at the end, thwarting a furious rally by the Bulldogs.

Arizona played a man down for two minutes of the game's final 2:20, and after losing five games this season by one goal Golembiewski said his squad is learning to put other teams away. 

Following the contest, a massive brawl erupted between the teams that led to eight players from both squads being disqualified for the next game.

As a result, Arizona will be without the services of Micah Kneeshaw, Eric Watters, Ryan Mohr, Zack Waxenberg and another player who has not been identified yet for Friday's home contest against Northern Arizona University.  

"This is the first win we've gotten against a top-five team in a couple of years," Golembiewski said of the victory.

"Learning how to put away an opponent is what makes teams great and hopefully this is the first step for us."

Up next

• What: Northern Arizona at Arizona

• Where: Tucson Convention Center

• When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

ICECATS 5

ADRIAN 4

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