After battling back to .500 this season, a win in regulation time was not going to cut it for the Arizona Icecats. They needed overtime and a seven-round shootout to put the final touches on a 14-13-2 season.
With the game tied 3-3 following a scoreless overtime, Arizona's Zach Cherney gave his team a 2-1 win over Arizona State in the shootout when he found the right corner of the net, sending the Arizona bench and a sellout crowd into pandemonium.
Senior captain Robbie Nowinski claimed afterward that despite his teammate being a defenseman, Cherney has some skills when it comes to shooting the puck.
"He does that in practice pretty much every day," Nowin-ski said. "He's amazing when going top shelf like that."
It was one of a number of performances that stood out in the Icecats' final game of the season. Jordan Schupan led Arizona with a pair of goals despite playing with a separated shoulder. And goaltender Nick Boddy played, as coach Leo Golembiewski put it, "out of his mind."
After allowing a pair of goals in the third period, Boddy was a wall during overtime, stopping 10 shots and turning away an intense offensive effort by Arizona State. In the shootout, he stopped six of seven shots.
"He did just an outstanding job," Golembiewski said. "You can't win a hockey game without great goaltending and that's what we had — great goaltending."
Arizona looked to have put the game away with a pair of quick goals early in the third period by Nowinski and Schupan. However, the Sun Devils responded with a pair of their own, the last with just over three minutes remaining in regulation.
Following overtime, Boddy turned away the first three ASU shots in the shootout before Kyle Barry gave the Sun Devils the lead. Joe Del Rossi evened it at 1 on the next shot. Boddy stopped three more shots while the Icecats missed twice to set up Cherney's dramatic finish.
"I'm not really an offensive player and they like to give me a hard time about it," Cherney said of his teammates' ribbing. "But in practice I like to put a few in when we do some breakaway work."
The win capped a 7-2 finish for Arizona and locked up a sweep of the Sun Devils. Boddy said it was a fitting way to end his career.
"I'm going to try and soak this in and reflect on it tomorrow," he said. "It's a little sad that I won't play here again. But this is definitely one of the best weekends I've had in four years here."