Hockey hosts second annual teddy bear toss
No. 12 Arizona hockey will face its fourth top-five opponent of the season this weekend, hosting No. 4 Iowa State for a two-game series at the Tucson Convention Center. Tonight is the second annual Teddy Bear Toss, sponsored by NOVA Home Loans.
This promotion allows fans to bring a new teddy bear to the game and throw it on the ice after the Wildcats score their first goal. Last season more than 900 were collected and donated to Toys for Tots.
This year the stuffed toys will be donated to Aviva Children’s Services and given to children in foster care within the Tucson Community.
“If we can score first and have all those teddy bears on the ice, it could be to our advantage; I think it would rattle them a bit,” said UA head coach Sean Hogan. “It’s a cool thing; hopefully the community gets involved in it and it becomes something people want to go to.”
Tonight’s game also features another $1 Hot Dog Night. The UA has offered this promotion every Friday night this November.
So far Arizona (10-8-0, 3-3-0 WCHL) is 5-4-0 at home in the 2013-14 campaign, outscoring opponents 43-27. The Cyclones (16-3-1) carry a hefty amount of momentum after sweeping then-No. 2 Minot State at home, outscoring it 6-2.
However, it was announced Thursday that ISU’s head coach of 43 years, Al Murdoch, is resigning. Murdoch, 67, said in a press release he simply felt it was time to step down and he wanted to go out on top after the Minot sweep. The Iowa State players elected first-year assistant Jason Fairman to take over as interim head coach.
“I’ve known him [Murdoch] for about 10 years, and he was the face of that program for sure,” Hogan said. “He’s a founding member of this league, so it’s too bad.”
Freshman Garrett Patrick will likely be in net both nights again this weekend for the Wildcats, though senior Steven Sisler, who has been nursing an injury, has practiced all week and may start one of the games if needed.
“It’s helped in practice, taking a bunch of shots, working on fundamentals and perfecting them, rebound control and being able to control the game,” Sisler said.
Expect junior Matthew Cooper between the pipes for Iowa State. His 1,028:48 minutes in net rank third at the ACHA Division I level.
The puck will drop at 7:30 p.m. tonight for one of two featured ACHA games of the week. The Wildcats will play again on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
“We just got to get back to the little things: working hard, battling and making good passes,” said Andrew Murmes, Arizona’s leading point scorer and assistant captain. “Iowa State’s obviously going to look to come here and get two wins, and we’re going to stop them.”
—Follow Joey Putrelo @JoeyPutrelo