Arizona hockey sweep fiery series
Courtesy of Natalie Hannah
UA Junior Forward David Rizk fights a Buffalo during Arizona’s 4-3 win at Colorado. The Wildcats won despite Rizk and senior center Andrew Murmes getting ejected for fighting.
Arizona hockey left the 48th state for the first time since Oct. 19 and completed a two-game sweep over Colorado on Saturday after falling to Colorado State on Thursday.
The three-contest weekend in the 38th state for the No. 14 Wildcats (17-16-0, 8-8-0 WCHL) commenced with a 4-2 disappointing loss to the Rams (11-22-2, 5-10-1).
In that game, Arizona head coach Sean Hogan said he was ejected for the first time in his 11-year career as a coach after he got into an argument with a referee.
Hogan said the referees had called nine consecutive penalties on his players and weren’t listening to his request for an explanation.
“He [the head referee] didn’t have to explain the calls but after calling nine in a row, I think you owe some kind of explanation,” Hogan said. “We had some choice words and he threw me out.”
However, the Wildcats would rebound the following night with a 4-1 win over the Buffaloes (8-18-2, 2-12-1) and got the sweep with a 4-3 overtime victory on Saturday.
The win Friday gave the UA its first season with more than 15 wins since it posted a 22-8-1 overall record in the 2007-08 season. The Wildcats have now earned 10 victories against ACHA Division I opponents, which is two more than last year.
“We’ll probably drop a couple spots [in the ACHA computer poll] this week because we lost to Colorado State,” Hogan said, “but we’re right in the mix of it and have a good shot to not only play in the national tournament, but compete in it as well because we can beat anybody.”
The game winner Saturday was a top-shelf snipe on the power play by junior winger Michael Ferreira, courtesy of an assist from freshman defenseman Mattheu Raiola.
“My line with [sophomore forward Brennen] Parker and Raiola has really good chemistry,” Ferreira said. “Raiola walked the defender to the middle, I had all day and the goalie gave me top left and I just snapped it.”
Senior center Andrew Murmes and junior forward David Rizk were also ejected on Saturday after getting in fights at the end of the game.
Murmes said he chose to fight because a Colorado player called him a racial slur.
“They [the Buffaloes] didn’t play dirty, but they said that slur and I don’t take that kindly,” Murmes said.
Murmes scored four goals and had three assists at CSU and CU.
He has delivered his most productive season in a UA sweater, setting single-season career highs in points (57) goals (24) and assists (33).
“I’ve just been getting open in the right areas and have been able to get some lucky bounces,” Murmes said. “But it’s a team effort; my line-mates have worked really well with each other and when we’re all working together and making fluent passes, it makes scoring goals easy.”
Next weekend Arizona travels to the barn of defending ACHA national champion No. 10 Minot State (20-7-4). Murmes will serve a Friday suspension and Rizk will sit out both games for the fights on Saturday.
—Follow Joey Putrelo @JoeyPutrelo