Hockey hosts fan fest before home opener

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ChrisMooney | The Daily Wildcat

Courtsey Rec Center Athletics

Arizona hockey head coach Chad Berman

The No. 17 Arizona Wildcats hockey program announced its first annual Fan Fest in honor of the home season opener. The event is free and open to the public and will take place on Thursday from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the Tucson Convention Center.

Wildcat fans are welcome to meet the 2014-15 Arizona Hockey team’s 17 new players, the returning players and new head coach Chad Berman.

Before the home opener on Friday against Liberty, this is the first time this season where fans can watch an open team practice on the eve of the first home game on Friday in the newly renovated TCC Arena.

“We are very excited to get back home and perform in front of our fans,” Berman said. “We expect the crowd will give us a lot of energy, and hopefully we can show the fast-paced defensive style of hockey we are going to bring this year. So far, we have had a very successful start on the road. Now that we get to come home, and get more practice time, we look forward to building off of our good start.”

According to a UA hockey press release, there will be entertainment at 7 p.m.

Fan Fest also allows Arizona to make a formal introduction to the Wildcats’ newest addition, Chase Lock. This 6-year-old has been fighting choroid plexus carcinoma brain cancer for four years.

Lock will be officially signed and introduced as a member of Arizona hockey during a press conference at 7:30 p.m.

Lock is part of Draft Day, which is facilitated by Team IMPACT. The organization aims to help children facing fatal and chronic illnesses.

Children like Lock get the opportunity to be drafted onto local college athletic teams and essentially become official members of the team. Draft Day participants attend team practices, games and social events, as well as forming life-long relationships with the student-athletes and coaching staffs.

“The boys and I are very excited to add Chase to our team,” Berman said. “He is a very special kid who I am sure we will learn a ton from, while adding a new friend to our hockey family.”

Berman and the Wildcats have opened the season with eight straight road games, winning just three so far. Thursday’s Fan Fest and Friday’s game will be the start of a nine-game home streak for the Wildcats.

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Follow Zoe Wolkowitz on Twitter.


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