Wildcats dominate lower division Aztecs
Arizona hockey head coach Sean Hogan said the largest margin of victory that the ACHA computer polls take into account is seven goals.
The Wildcats accomplished that feat and then some in a sweep of San Diego State.
On Friday, the No. 15 UA (14-15-0, 5-6-0 WCHL) cracked double digits on the scoreboard for the first time this season in a dominant 10-3 win over the Aztecs (10-12-0). The next night, Arizona sent San Diego State home with a 9-0 blowout.
With SDSU hailing from ACHA Division II, it was obvious the entire weekend the UA was in a different league.
“We moved the puck low to high, got a lot of shots from the point and won those front battles,” Hogan said. “Overall I do think we played well, but now we have to take that momentum and really play hard and maximize our practice time.”
Caps were flying onto the ice both nights, as wingers Robbie Wilkinson earned a hat trick Friday night while Brennen Parker and Ansel Ivens-Anderson found the net three times as well on Saturday.
Wilkinson now has 14 goals on the season and is second on the team to senior Andrew Murmes.
“Usually when I’m playing I’m more of a playmaker, but coach [Hogan] has been telling me to shoot the puck a lot lately, and it’s been going in,” Wilkinson said. “They [the Aztecs] collapsed, so they gave us a lot of time and space, so we just took advantage of that and crashed the net.”
Ivens-Anderson, the team captain, has now scored a goal in six straight games.
“With our line, we pride ourselves on our ability to move the puck and [move] the puck around between us,” Ivens-Anderson said. “San Diego State was a very passive team, so they gave us a lot of time in their zone and with the three of us [Andrew Murmes, Parker and Ivens-Anderson], if you give us enough time, we’re going to put it in.”
Saturday was also Skate With the Wildcats night, where fans got a chance for the second time this season to get up close and interact with the players on the ice. Ivens-Anderson said the event is a great way to grow hockey in Tucson.
Arizona will go on the road next weekend for the first time in about three months to face the top team in the country, ASU (28-1-0, 10-1-0 WCHL). Because the Tucson Convention Center will be shutting down the ice this week, Arizona will have to practice in Chandler, Ariz.
—Follow Joey Putrelo @JoeyPutrelo