Hockey snaps 37 game winless streak against ASU
Heroes were made and legacies were redefined over the weekend for Arizona hockey.
Playing in its first series on the road since the end of October, the UA looked at home Saturday in the second of a two-game series against No. 1 ASU at Oceanside Ice Arena.
The Wildcats pulled off a 2-1 Cinderella victory, terminating a 37-game winless streak to the Sun Devils and spoiling senior night for ASU. The win for No. 14 Arizona (15-16-0, 6-7-0 WCHL) over No. 1 ASU (29-2-0, 11-2-0 WCHL) will likely solidify its spot in the ACHA National Tournament for the first time since the 2005-06 season.
It was also the first time in program history the UA has ever defeated two top-ranked teams in the same season.
“I teared up a little bit because it was such a big win for us,” Arizona head coach Sean Hogan said. “It could be the biggest win in program history besides the national championship win in 1985.”
The Wildcats had a rocky beginning this weekend, as they were blanked 5-0 by the Sun Devils, allowing two short-handed goals and held scoreless on all 20 shots. First year UA goalie Garrett Patrick struggled to find his groove, letting five goals by on 37 shots against.
The following night between the pipes, the Wildcats were carried by goalie Steven Sisler, who saved 52 of 53 shots faced. The senior let ASU’s first shot past him, but was a brick wall throughout the remainder of the evening.
“I wanted to win against [the Sun Devils] more than anything, for the seniors,” Sisler said. “I’ve been here for four years; I felt like it was time to finally end the losing streak.”
Arizona’s last win against ASU was in February 2009.
“It was unbelievable,” Hogan said. “[Sisler] couldn’t have played any better.”
Junior defenseman Shane Gleason and senior forward Ansel Ivens-Anderson were the lone scorers for Arizona in Saturday’s contest, providing just enough offense to capture the historic win.
Ivens-Anderson developed sudden flu-like symptoms a few hours before the puck dropped and had to flee to the locker room to vomit multiple times during the game. However, Ivens-Anderson showed why he deserves the captain’s “C” on his sweater, battling through the illness to eventually net the game winning.
Hogan said Ivens-Anderson should be ready to suit up next weekend.
“It’s more adversity that not only myself, but the whole team has had to deal with throughout the season,” Ivens-Anderson said. “This win was something we wanted to do for both our team and the alumni that hadn’t done it.”
Next weekend, the UA will continue its road stand with a game against Colorado State followed by a pair of contests versus Colorado. If the Wildcats are victorious in at least one of the games, they will have more than 15 wins for the first time since going 22-8-1 in the 2007-08 season.
“For us, this weekend showed we can beat anybody,” Hogan said. “We’ll enjoy it until we get back to work on Tuesday.”
—Follow Joey Putrelo @JoeyPutrelo