Hockey loses fifth game in a row
Tyler Baker / Arizona Daily Wildcat
U of A IceCats lost 3-2 to #17 UCO Jan, 17 at the TCC.
Wildcat hockey remained No. 18 in the rankings despite losing its fifth game in a row Thursday night, falling 3-2 to No. 17 Central Oklahoma.
“We had a lot of good opportunities, but that being said, our defensive zone was terrible, not getting the loose pucks,” head coach Sean Hogan said. “We have find a way to get better.”
Arizona has lost those games by a combined 10 goals, including blown leads in each of them.
“It’s really just been another example of this little streak we’ve been on the last couple of weeks,” junior forward Ansel Ivens-Anderson said. “Having a lead, giving it up, mental lapses and starting to play better when it’s too late.”
UA hosts No. 5 Oklahoma (15-10-4) on Friday and Saturday at the Tucson Convention Center at 7:30 p.m.
“We gotta win one,” Hogan said. “We win one and maybe we stay at 18.”
After a scoreless first period, Ivens-Anderson put UA up 1-0 on a five-on-three power play. The UCO goalie launched the puck into the stands out of frustration.
Central Oklahoma found the equalizer with 3:46 left in the second, scoring on a breakaway right after they killed a penalty. Then the Bronchos took the lead a minute and 10 seconds later.
“I can’t explain that,” Hogan said. “It’s so frustrating and it’s a lack of back checking; it’s a lack of effort and it’s infuriating. We work on it constantly and we know what to do, we just don’t execute.”
In the third period, Central Oklahoma extended their lead to 3-1 with a four on four goal with 7:52 left.
Arizona outshot the Bronchos 17-8 in the third. For the game, the Wildcats had 41 shots on goal, while Central Oklahoma had 33.
UA lost all three games against Central Oklahoma this year, two in Oklahoma City and one at home.
“For whatever reason, we just don’t play well against those guys,” Hogan said,
On Nov. 15, UA earned arguably its best win of the season, beating then-No. 6 Oklahoma 3-1.
“We beat them once this year, so we know we can and hopefully we start to build on that and turn this around,” Ivens-Anderson said.
Arizona’s trip to Oklahoma was its last win over a Division I team. After blowing two-goal leads against then-No. 4 Minot State and a three-goal lead against No. 10 Liberty last week, the Wildcats haven’t protected a lead since their 4-3 win Dec. 8 against NAU to end last semester.
Arizona has won two in row against Oklahoma, beating the Sooners 4-1 last November at home after losing to OU 5-1.