One night after coach Leo Golembiewski earned his 600th career win, the Arizona Icecats were looking for another milestone victory on Saturday: their first three-game winning streak of the season.
While Arizona failed to duplicate Friday's dominant 12-goal onslaught, it managed to score the game's final two goals en route to a 6-4 victory over Saint Louis at the Tucson Convention Center.
The score was tied at 4 after two periods, but a goal by defenseman Zach Cherney three minutes into the third proved to be the game winner.
Freshman forward Brady Lefferts added an empty-net goal with one second remaining to pad the final score.
In winning its third straight, Arizona improved its overall record to 7-9-1, a mark which Golembiewski described as "on its way" to being respectable.
Icecats goalie Nick Boddy, who stopped 41 shots on Saturday, said the team entered the second half of the season with a goal to win 10 of its 14 remaining games.
"We knew we had to start with two here this weekend," Boddy said. "Now we just need to take it one game at a time."
Boddy and Golembiewski agreed that despite the recent winning streak, the Icecats need to perform better next week against powerhouse Michigan State.
One major thing to work on: maintaining leads.
Just as in Friday's game, the Icecats entered Saturday's first intermission with a 3-1 lead. Arizona outshot Saint Louis 20-10 in the first period and appeared to be on its way to a blowout.
But Saint Louis outscored Arizona in the second period for the second consecutive game, leaving the Icecats scratching their heads entering the final period.
"You always have to bring a mental edge to the table," Golembiewski said. "Tonight we didn't and we got away with it. But we're not gonna get away with it with any of the remaining 12 teams."
The Icecats are hoping to duplicate what they did last season, when they won 11 of their final 12 games to end the year after putting up a less-than-impressive record before the holiday break.
Senior captain Zach Stommen, who won a faceoff in front of Saint Louis' net during Saturday's first period and directed the puck toward teammate Zach Gross for the Icecats' second goal, said he sees no reason Arizona cannot finish the year on a winning note.
"When you're losing, nobody's into it; you don't want to be out there; it's embarrassing," Stommen said. "But now that we're winning, it's a great feeling and hopefully we can carry it through because I'd love to end my senior year like this."