Arizona Icecats (1978–2011) and Arizona Wildcat Hockey (2011-present)
University of Arizona Hockey was first established in 1978 by students who played games at the TCC, wearing NHL Atlanta Flames jerseys because of the similar "A" logo that team used.
The Arizona Icecats were started by Head Coach and General Manager Leo Golembiewski in 1979 as a Divsion-1 non-varsity hockey team, and originally played under the name of the Arizona IceCats. With Coach Golembiewski's help, the Icecats were a founding member of the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA, est. 1991).
In their 32 seasons of play ending with the 2010-2011 season, the Arizona IceCats had an overall record of 634-217-23. They won a National Tournament (1985), appeared in eight Final Fours (’84, ’86, ’87, ’88, ’91, ’93, ’94, ’97) and ten Elite Eights.
The Wildcats have since had two coaches: Sean Hogan and Chad Berman.
Sean Hogan lead the Wildcats from 2011-2014, reestablishing the programs successful reputation by qualifying for the National Tournament in 2011.
Since then, Chad Berman has lead the Wildcats to back-to-back WCHL Conference Championships (2019 & 2020), four consecutive Cactus Cups (2017, 2018, 2019, 2021) and have been recognized nationally by the ACHA with four ACHA Community Service Awards, including the ACHA Men's Division 1 Community Service Award (2017 & 2018) and the ACHA Overall Community Service Award (2017 & 2018). All three of these feats were accomplished for the first time in program history.
Since the 1980-81 season, IceCat home games were played at the 6,800 seat Tucson Convention Center Arena, affectionately known as “The Madhouse on Main Street," where the IceCats were consistently one of the University's top draws. During their tenure, they also ranked near the top in attendance for all of College Hockey, both ACHA and NCAA. The Tucson Convention Center is a staple of University of Arizona Hockey.
IceCats games were also broadcast on ESPN radio and the worldwide web on FastHockey.com. Currently you can find games on the teams YouTube page as well as their Facebook page.
Arizona Wildcats (2011- Present)
As of April 2011, University of Arizona hockey has begun a new tradition, which includes a name change to the school's official 'Wildcats' name, managerial changes throughout the whole organization, coaching staff changes, and most importantly the full support of the University of Arizona.
The new Wildcat hockey team is organized under the auspices of the Campus Recreation Department, and will continue to play their home games on Friday and Saturday nights at The Tucson Convention Center.
ICECAT HISTORY (1978-2011)
*21-Straight National Tournament Appearances (1983-2003)
* 1992 Start of Official ACHA National Tournament
*1990 & 1991 Collegiate Club Hockey National Tourn. are incorporated into ACHA
1983 - 1984 - 1987 - 1991
1986 - 1993 - 1994 - 1997
1990 - 1992 - 1995 - 1996 - 1998 – 1999 -2000 - 2001 - 2002 - 2003
1988 (5th) - 2006 (12th)
2000 Fire 'N Ice Tournament Champions - (Reykjavic, Iceland)
WILDCAT HOCKEY HISTORY (2011-Present)
ACHA National Tournament Appearances
2014 (18th), 2016 (15th) , 2018 (16th) , 2019 (9th), 2020(8th, cancelled due to COVID-19) 2022 (16th), 2023 (11th)
WCHL Conference Championships
2017, 2018, 2019, 2022, 2023
ACHA Men's Division 1 Community Service Award(s)
ACHA Overall Community Service Award
A special thanks to Kevin Fisher for the countless hours putting together a complete Arizona Hockey history with documentation.
Here is a link to the files.
(1996) Icecat senior center Kevin Oztekin (left) and senior defensemen Mark Thawley and Jon Muntz lead the third-ranked Icecats into Athens, Ohio, for the American Collegiate Hockey Association national tournament.
If you have old game programs, statistics, or Arizona Hockey team photos, we want to hear from you! Please email Head Coach Chad Berman at chadberman@Arizona.edu.