Hockey travels to defending national champions
This weekend in North Dakota, Wildcat hockey will play its last road games in the 2013-14 regular season.
It is also the final week before the ACHA Division I National Tournament draw is chosen. The UA is still looking for its first bid to the postseason since the 2005-06 campaign.
Friday and Saturday, No. 14 Arizona (17-19-0, 8-8-0 WCHL) will face a familiar foe in the defending ACHA Division I national champions, No. 10 Minot State (19-6-4). The puck is scheduled to drop at 8:30 p.m. Arizona time for both games.
“We don’t feel a ton of pressure,” UA head coach Sean Hogan said. “We’re just going to go in there and try to win as many games as we can,” UA head coach Sean Hogan said. “We’ve had such a short roster the past few weeks with injuries and guys being sick with the flu that’s going around, but we can’t use that as an excuse.”
Earlier in the season, the Wildcats split a two-game series with the then-No.1 Beavers at the Tucson Convention Center. The 3-2 win on Nov. 8 was Arizona’s first against a top-ranked opponent since its ACHA inception in 1992.
“We got the puck deep on offense and didn’t try to beat guys one-on-one in the neutral zone,” Hogan said. “That’s going to be the message this weekend.”
Following its 13-0-0 start to the season, Minot has played .500 hockey, going 10-10-0. The Beavers are 12-2-0 at Maysa Arena this season, however.
Arizona senior center Andrew Murmes’ 57 points in 34 games ties him at sixth in the league with Brenden Robinson of No. 18 Buffalo. Murmes is five points from totaling 200 career points, a feat only 12 other players in UA history have accomplished.
The Wildcats will be without the veteran Friday as Murmes serves a one-game suspension for the fight he got into at Colorado last Saturday.
Hogan also said goaltenders Garrett Patrick (6-8-0, 3.26 GAA) and Steven Sisler (9-8-0, 3.73 GAA) will each get a start this weekend.
—Follow Joey Putrelo @JoeyPutrelo