Hockey hosts arch rival No. 1 Sun Devils
Arizona hockey has already been selected to the ACHA Division I National Championships, but that doesn’t mean the Wildcats can rest until they star on March 6.
This weekend the rivalry between No. 15 Arizona (17-19-0, 8-8-0 Western Collegiate Hockey League) and No. 1 ASU (32-2-0, 14-2-0) on the ice will conclude the 2013-14 regular season for both parties. Friday and Saturday night the puck is scheduled to drop at 7:30 p.m.
“The games are still important in that we want to make sure we’re playing good hockey going into the tournament,” said head coach Sean Hogan. “[The Sun Devils] want to win and show why they’re the top seed in the tournament.”
Three weeks ago the Wildcats earned a split with the Sun Devils at Oceanside Ice Arena in Tempe, Ariz. The 2-1 victory was Arizona’s first over ASU since Feb. 21, 2009.
Freshman forward Robert Wilkinson skates in between two sun devils to obtain the puck. The UA hockey team will host ASU on Friday and Saturday.
That win also snapped a 37-game winless streak to the Wildcats’ most bitter rival.
Last year the final pair of regular season games against the Sun Devils at the Tucson Convention Center drew a crowd total of almost 11,000 people. On the 2012-13 Arizona senior night, 5,689 attended.
Saturday will be the final time six Wildcats take the ice at the TCC, including captain Ansel Ivens-Anderson and team-leading point scorer Andrew Murmes, Steven Sisler, Michael Basist, Jeffrey Wadhams and Eric Watters round out the senior class who were “Icecats” their freshman campaign.
“It’s obviously been an unreal four years playing here [at the TCC]; it’s unbelievable and something I’ll remember for the rest of my life,” Murmes said. “A win [on senior night] would mean the world to me. My parents and friends will be in the stands and they deserve to see a win over ASU at home.”
Saturday is Fan Appreciation Night; fans will get a free poster and there will be a postgame autograph session.
—Follow Joey Putrelo @JoeyPutrelo