Arizona Wildcats hockey at home to trick, not treat CU
Tonight, newly-minted No. 10 Arizona hockey returns to Western Collegiate Hockey League to play a single game against Colorado at the Tucson Convention Center.
The last time the UA (6-5-0, 2-1-0 WCHL) was ranked in the top 10 of the ACHA poll was in February 2006. After a string of successful seasons as an ACHA Division II program, CU (1-5-0, 0-1-0) is in its inaugural season at the Division I level.
“We’re happy to be No. 10, but we know as a team that we let an opportunity get away to be ranked six or seven if we had won on Saturday,” said Arizona head coach Sean Hogan.
The Wildcats are coming off a Friday night victory over NAU and a Saturday loss to No. 4 Delaware. The Buffaloes last played Oct. 19, falling to WCHL opponent No. 18 Colorado State 3-2.
Keenan Turner / The Daily Wildcat Will Pointon, a defenseman, powers his way past a Delaware defender on Saturday.
“They’re [the Buffaloes] coming off their bye week last week; they’ll be well-rested,” Hogan said. “We’re going to have to play well all weekend to maintain our No. 10 ranking.”
Senior forward and alternate captain Andrew Murmes still leads Arizona in points with 12 via six goals and six assists. Both senior forward Ansel Ivens-Anderson and junior defenseman Shane Gleason trail behind him by a point.
Freshman forward Maty Pierce’s five points on three goals with two assists put him atop the Colorado point- and goal-scoring list. The Buffaloes have five players tied for second in points, with two.
“I just have to keep doing the same thing: working hard, getting open by the net, finding my teammates, letting my teammates find me, and I just have to bury more,” Murmes said. “I’ve gotten a lot of chances and haven’t put the puck in the net [last weekend], so I have to just keep battling and they’ll come.”
Despite giving up seven goals in his last start, senior Steven Sisler (5-2-0) is likely to get the nod in net for the Wildcats. However, because the UA will face Colorado State on Friday and Saturday, freshman Garrett Patrick (0-0-0) may be the one between the pipes tonight.
CU freshman goalie Alex Palumbo (1-3-0) has seen the most playing time so far this season. However, Arizona could see freshman Matt Lechner (0-1-0) or sophomore Mike Stafford (0-1-0) in net as well.
“I’m excited to hopefully get out there and finally try to help the team win and play in front of our home fans,” said Patrick. “I feel very prepared. I’ve been ready the whole season, waiting for my chance to get out there and begin.”
The puck will drop at 7:30 p.m. The game will feature the Buy Two Tickets, Get One Free and Thirsty Thursday promotions. Fans are encouraged to dress up for Halloween tonight, and there will be a best costume contest.
—Follow Joey Putrelo @JoeyPutrelo