Hockey hosts archrival ASU
No. 13 Arizona hockey looks to snap a 34-game winless streak against top rival No. 1 ASU as it starts a two-game series tonight at the Tucson Convention Center. Assistant coach Dave Dougall will fill in for head coach Sean Hogan while he is in Europe serving as an assistant coach for the U.S. Men’s National University Team.
“While I’m disappointed I’m not going to be behind the bench versus ASU, I have all the confidence in the world in our assistant coaches, as well as our athletes, to be prepared and get the job done,” Hogan said. “It should be a pretty seamless transition.”
The Sun Devils (21-0-0) are the only remaining team in the ACHA without a loss. Back in early October, ASU swept Arizona (10-10-0), outscoring it a combined 11-1 in a pair of games at Oceanside Arena.
Luckily for the Wildcats, the Sun Devils will be without several of their best players this weekend because of the Winter World University Games. Forwards Brian McGinty, Danny McAuliffe and Sean Murphy, plus defensemen Alex Temby and Jordan Young, will all be suiting up for the U.S.
Temby and Young each had goals in ASU’s 5-1 win over Arizona on October 4, and McAuliffe netted one the following night in the Sun Devil’s 6-0 victory.
Tyler Baker / The Daily Wildcat UA senior forward Ansel Ivens-Anderson battles for the puck during the ASU hockey game Wed., Jan. 23.
However, ASU will still have its most productive player on offense in sophomore forward Kale Dolinski, whose 40 points (11 goals, 29 assists) are second in the ACHA. The Sun Devils will also have their elite goalies in freshman Robert Levin (11-0-0, 0.93 goals against average) and senior Joseph D’Elia (9-0-0 1.11 GAA).
“We just have to stick with our game plan,” Dougall said. “I think we have a style of play that we need to play; we can’t play their [the Sun Devils’] type of game. Getting them [the Wildcats] motivated shouldn’t be a problem, but we’ll have lapses out there — I fully expect that.”
No. 13 Arizona hockey looks to snap a 34-game winless streak against top rival No. 1 ASU as it starts a two-game series tonight at the Tucson Convention Center.
While Arizona will be without Andrew Murmes all weekend because of his suspension, his fellow senior forward Ansel Ivens-Anderson is expected to be near 100 percent after nursing a broken foot the past several weeks. Ivens-Anderson, the captain, is third on the team with 16 points (four goals, 12 assists).
“[The injury] is really improving; it feels 100 percent when I’m just moving around,” Ivens-Anderson said. “I just took it easy in practice this week and so I should be good to go by Friday.”
The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. both nights. Fans are encouraged to wear their corniest Christmas attire for Ugly Christmas Sweater Night on Saturday. Those who bring a toy or cash donation tonight will get to take a free picture with Santa Claus. The proceeds will go toward Campus Recreation’s Tower of Toys, which will be given to Aviva Children’s Services for children in foster care.
—Follow Joey Putrelo @JoeyPutrelo