Arizona hockey holds off San Diego State
The Arizona hockey team survived a surprising scare from a Division II team Friday night.
No. 17 Arizona (9-9-0) beat San Diego State (5-9-1) 5-3 and the Wildcats and Aztecs close out the series Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. at the Tucson Convention Center.
“We played terrible,” head coach Sean Hogan said. “It was the worst we’ve played all year and I’m not taking anything away from San Diego State, because they worked hard, but that was the single worst effort of the year.”
Freshman defenseman Bryan Drazner and senior forward Jared Lowell each had two goals and freshman forward Dane Irving added another.
The Wildcats only practiced on ice a couple times since their trip to Oklahoma two weeks and took last week off. Hogan thought that might have hurt Arizona, but they were hurt most by their effort.
“Maybe, but there’s no excuse for it, terrible hockey and it was a bad effort,” Hogan said. “We need to come out much, much better [Saturday].”
There were no goals or penalties in the first period.
“That’s a team that we gotta come out in the first ten minutes and put them right away,” Drazner said. “We didn’t do that, we let them stick around and made it a close one.”
San Diego State scored first with 18:44 left in the second then Lowell tied it up about seven minutes later.
Arizona took the lead at the beginning of the third on a power play goal, but the Aztecs quickly tied it with 14 minutes left. With 2:31 to go, Drazner scored a rocket from near the blue line.
Then 25 seconds later Lowell scored the game winner but San Diego State quickly answered with another goal to get within one. Drazner clinched it with an empty net goal with 10 seconds left.
“I think we got lucky,” Hogan said. “We didn’t play well enough to do any of that, I don’t think they made an extra effort. Obviously we’re happy to win, but we got to win with a little better effort.”
Former third string goalie, sophomore Bob Schultz, started between the pipes for the Wildcats and made 22 saves.
Freshman goalie Dylan Hojnacki will make his Wildcat debut Saturday.
“We better play good in front of him, for him, because he’s a good goalie and we need to play better for our goalies,” Hogan said.
Hojnacki, a Chandler, Ariz. native, made the team via walk on tryouts in September.
“Dylan’s been doing well in practice, he’s a freshman, so he’s chomping at the bit to get out there,” Drazner said. “So he’s a real good goalie, a lot of confidence in there and we’re excited to have him on the team this year.”