Arizona hockey hosts two teams for three games over weekend

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Cecilia Alvarez | The Daily Wildcat

The Arizona hockey team watch the action during Arizona's 4-3 loss against Liberty at the Tucson Convention Center on Saturday. Arizona hosts Colorado State today and University of Colorado on Friday and Saturday.

After being swept on its home ice last weekend, Arizona hockey will try to redeem itself this weekend with three home games against two WCHL league-mates.

“The best thing you can do after a heartbreaking loss is to play a game as soon as possible,” UA hockey coach Chad Berman said. “We really want to wash that bad taste out of our mouth. We had a real good week of practice, and we hope that carries into the weekend.”

Tonight, No. 17 Arizona (3-0-7) will host No. 25 Colorado State (4-0-3), followed by a Friday and Saturday night series against University of Colorado (6-0-2).

Last season, the Colorado State Rams swept the Wildcats over a three-game period. All games were upset victories for the Rams against a higher-ranked Wildcat team.

Joshua Graser leads the Rams in scoring with 17 points from eight goals and nine assists. Goalie Elliott Messmer has a 90.7 goal save percentage with 98 saves for the season so far.

The Rams are looking to rebound from last weekend's loss against their archrival, University of Colorado. Colorado State intends to make a statement by beating a higher-ranked Arizona squad on its home ice.

Both Arizona and Colorado State are known for their hard-hitting and hard-work styles.

“Colorado State isn’t the most skilled team, but they have a very hard-working style of play,” UA hockey captain Shane Gleason said. “As long as we put in the effort and stick to our game plan, we will come out with a big win to start the weekend on Thursday night.”

Although University of Colorado is unranked, Berman said he anticipates it won’t be long before the Buffaloes are ranked in the top 25.

The Buffaloes' two losses came from being swept by No. 8 Minot State.

Jake Bauer leads University of Colorado in scoring with eight goals and one assist. Goalie Alex Palumbo ranks No. 19 in the ACHA with a 92.9 goal save percentage.

“We need to take care of our own end, stay disciplined and get a lot of pucks on net,” UA forward Alex O’Dea said.

Arizona will play an action-packed weekend after suffering from a two-game losing streak at home. The puck drops at the Tucson Convention Center Arena at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

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