Arizona hockey is swept by Sun Devils
Senior Ansel Ivens-Anderson fights for the puck during Arizona’s 8-2 loss to ASU on Senior Appreciation Night on Saturday. Ivens-Anderson was the only Wildcat senior to score a goal over the weekend.
The last hurrah at the “Mad House on Main Street” for Wildcat hockey’s seniors didn’t quite go their way over the weekend against ASU.
No. 15 Arizona (17-21-0) was swept at home by the No. 1 Sun Devils (34-2-0) and outscored 12-4.
Luckily for the UA, the games did not count toward the seeding for the ACHA Division I National Championships in March.
Arizona kept the score close in Friday’s game, but ultimately fell 4-2, with freshman Garrett Patrick in the net. The following night ASU rested some of its best players, including Kale Dolinksi and Colin Hekle, and still ran away with the contest 8-2.
“We get overly emotional, and that’s a sign of being a young team,” UA head coach Sean Hogan said. “We’re going to continue working on that part of our game, and it will get better as the program improves.”
Goalie Steven Sisler was between the pipes Saturday for his senior night and allowed eight of 45 shots past him.
Among the five seniors who are skaters, Ansel Ivens-Anderson was the only to score in his last games at the Tucson Convention Center. Defensemen Bryan Drazner and Alex Vazquez, who are both underclassmen, were the other two Wildcats to find the net.
Even after the six-goal loss on Saturday, Arizona’s captain was optimistic.
“We got an opportunity to take this and learn from it,” Ivens-Anderson said. “It’s sad knowing you’re not going to come here and play in front of that crowd again, but we still have nationals to look forward to.”
Before the game, there was a senior night ceremony for Ivens-Anderson, Sisler, Andrew Murmes, Michael Basist, Eric Watters and Jeffrey Wadhams.
The six got to take a final lap around the rink as the crowd cheered them on, and their goodbyes were read by the public address announcer. Each of the seniors’ families came out to watch their sons’ last collegiate hockey game on home ice.
Many others came to support them, along with the rest of the team, throughout the weekend. The TCC looked the fullest it had been all season.
“You can’t get a better fan section in the ACHA,” Murmes said. “We do it for the fans and we do it because we love hockey, but they come every day win or lose and that’s something that we appreciate and respect.”
Next, Arizona will make its first appearance in the national tournament for the first time since the 2005-06 season.
The Wildcats will head to Delaware to face No. 18 Illinois (19-17-2) in the first round on March 6.
—Follow Joey Putrelo @JoeyPutrelo