Hockey snaps six game skid with win over No. 5 Oklahoma
With its back against the wall, the Arizona hockey team upset No. 5 Oklahoma to snap its six-game losing streak, defeating the Sooners in a 4-3 overtime shootout Saturday night.
No. 18 Arizona (14-15-0) won the shoot out 2-1.
“It’s a huge win,” freshman goalie Dylan Hojnacki said. “It turned the season around I felt like. After six losses, I felt like we really needed to win and we got it done today.”
The Wildcats out-shot the Sooners 46-34. The win is Arizona’s sixth over top 10 teams this year.
Drew Gyorke / Arizona Daily Wildcat Arizona Ice Cats vs. Oklahoma
It’s the Wildcats’ first over a Division I team since beating the Sooners in mid-November, sealing the season series 2-1 for the Wildcats.
“Well it feels a lot better,” head coach Sean Hogan said. “We’ve been playing such good, high quality hockey teams and we’ve been playing pretty good hockey for the most part. It’s good to finally get a one goal win.”
The win was a crucial one, as Arizona will embark on a seven game road trip where it will go to Virginia to face No. 8 Liberty, Tempe to play No. 1 Arizona State and North Dakota to take on No. 3 Minot State, who swept the UA two weekends ago.
“We’ve been fired up every game, but we were really fired up today,” junior forward Ansel Ivens-Anderson said. “We knew it was our last home game for a little while. We wanted to not only prove something to the fans, but prove something to ourselves.”
The Wildcats opened up the scoring with a goal by sophomore forward Mike Ferreira, after they were shut out 4-0 Friday night by the Sooners.
“We knew we had it, it was just finally burying our chances and we actually did that today,” Ivens-Anderson said.
Oklahoma responded five minutes later with a power play goal before taking the lead five minutes after that. In the second period, UA tied it with a power play goal by Andrew Murmes with 3:57 left. Three minutes later, senior forward Brian Slugocki gave the Wildcats the lead with a power play goal, where Ivens-Anderson and Murmes earned assists.
“It was a good win for us,” Hogan said. “The boys played great.”
In the third period, Oklahoma tied it with 15:17 left. Ten minutes later, the UA looked doomed when OU got a minute of five-on-three advantage and called a time out, but the Wildcats killed both penalties.
“It was huge. Obviously it was the difference in the game,” Hogan said.
Hogan said that Hojnacki’s performance in this game was “unbelievable.” Hojnacki made his first start against a Division I team. He made 33 saves in his first game action since early December. Hojnacki made two saves in the shoot out, stopping the last two Sooner shooters.
Slugocki missed the first one, then senior defenseman Zack Waxenberg scored the second and Ivens-Anderson buried the game winner.
“Now we’re in it, we’re in the hunt,” Hogan said. “We’re right there playing .500 hockey, with arguably the toughest schedule in the nation.”