Arizona hockey suffers two more losses to ASU
Wildcat hockey came agonizingly close to ending their massive winless streak against ASU, but lost 5-1.
No. 18 Arizona (15-17-1) saw its winless streak against No. 2 Arizona State rise to 30 with two more losses in Tempe, Ariz. Friday and Saturday. UA lost 4-3 in overtime, then 5-1.
Head coach Sean Hogan said Arizona didn’t play poorly.
“As we rebuild this program, you know, the first year you lose big, the second year you lose close, right?” Hogan said. “And we’re losing close games to really good opponents.”
Turki Allugman / Arizona Daily Wildcat UA's Hockey team lost ASU 5-1 at the Oceanside Ice Rink on Saturday 2/2/2013
With 12:33 left in the first on Saturday, Arizona struck first, with a power play goal by junior forward Andrew Murmes. ASU (30-6-0,) however, would go on to score five unanswered goals.
Two and a half minutes into the second, Arizona State made it 3-1 and then added a fourth with 2:21 left before the second intermission. With 3:38 left in the game, the Sun Devils added a fifth goal.
“It’s obviously disappointing but we’re going to take it as a learning experience,” Murmes said. “The guys in there [the locker room] know that we’re a lot better than that. We took a little bit of a step back but we’re moving forward.”
Murmes said the streak will soon end and that UA will have success at the big dance.
“We’re gonna end it at home and then we’re going to do better at nationals,” Murmes said. “They might have won 30, 31 games, who even knows, but what matters is who has the ring at the end and that’s going to be us.”
There was good news for Arizona, though. First, it held onto the No. 18 ranking, which it has owned since Dec. 7. No. 13 Navy won its conference, so a bid stealer couldn’t take a spot in the national tournament despite being ranked outside the top 18. No. 18 will now officially make nationals.
Hogan said he thinks the UA will hang onto the No. 18 slot.
“We should, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t,” Hogan said.
On Friday, Arizona jumped out to a 3-0 lead midway through the second period, but blew a three goal lead for the second time in 2013 and lost in overtime. The UA blew a three goal lead to then-No. 10 Liberty and twice blew two goal leads to then-No. 4 Minot State.
Murmes, freshman Dane Irving and senior Brian Slugocki scored the goals.
Late in the third period the Wildcats thought they had taken the lead but it was waved off.
“I watched the video of it, I couldn’t tell if it went in or not, but I had some people say that it did,” Hogan said. “I mean ultimately, the scoreboard’s the scoreboard at the end of the game.”
Murmes said he was not happy his goal was disallowed.
“I thought we got robbed [Friday] night,” Murmes said. “We actually did extremely well.”
The Sun Devils would score in overtime to win. It was ASU’s third overtime win during the four year streak.
Up next for Arizona is a trip to North Dakota to face Williston State and No. 3 Minot State in the last weekend before the national tournament’s field of 20 is picked.
“We’re definitely going to make a splash at nationals, we’re definitely making it there,” Murmes said. “We’re going to make a splash up in Minot, North Dakota, even though it’s freezing.”