Stahlhuth hat trick headlines weekend sweep of Utah
It was a successful weekend in Utah for the Wildcat hockey team as they beat the Utah Utes on Friday, Nov. 10 and Saturday, Nov. 11 by scores of 5-2 and 5-3 respectively. The Wildcats were able to sweep Utah, but no one stood out more than Ethan Stahlhuth with a hat trick on Saturday night.
“It was a great feeling considering that’s about how many goals I had last year... everything fell in place,” Stahlhuth said, “I had good bounces, I mean I worked for it. It’s nice getting something out of how much effort I put into it.”
The St Louis, Mo. native is a returnee to Arizona and has already more than doubled last year’s point total in six less games. After the series against Utah, he has 13 points – eight goals and five assists.
Stahlhuth now joins Anthony Cusanelli and Josh Larson as the only Wildcats with hat tricks this season. But, he likely won’t be the last.
Who does he think will be the next one to get a hat trick on the team? On offense he thinks it will be Chris Westlund, and on defense he says Manny Rowe is a good pick – not to put any pressure on anyone though.
Stahlhuth cites his sleep helping him in the game. The previous day they had a long day due to travel, so that night he caught up on sleep and was, as he said, ready to go and more awake before the game than the previous night.
This offseason he also put a lot of effort into working out and dieting on nothing but salads and chicken, which he says has greatly impacted his play. Since the start of the season, he’s been a much speedier player.
Stahlhuth’s first goal was on the power play, which has been effective for the Wildcats this season. He plays on the second of two units, and applauds the top unit for their passing game and causing chaos for the opposition’s penalty kill unit. His unit has also been doing some damage, but he still believes there’s ways they can improve.
“I know my power player, our goal is to just get shots and that’s what we’re good at so I think we need to focus more on settling down once we’re in the zone and breaking out of our zone,” Stahlhuth said.
While the team was successful at lighting the lamp, they were also successful at getting penalties called against them with a total of 80 PIM through the weekend. 30 of those minutes came from two majors and a disqualification and misconduct for head contact.
Griffin Dyne was assessed a major and misconduct, but Orion Olsen was assessed a major and disqualification. It is unclear if there will be some form of disciplinary action against Olsen, but Olsen was ejected for a shoulder hit to the head of a Utah player. It was declared there was an intent to injure on the play and he was immediately tossed from the game.
The Wildcats will be facing off against Arkansas and Missouri State on Nov. 16, 17, and 18. They have faced both these opponents before and have had success against one, and been shut out by the other.
“It’s [our game plan] to not let the travel day get the best of us... we have to beat Arkansas, that’s our number one. We can’t overlook Arkansas... we still gotta come in with the right mindset that we did Saturday. We gotta be ready to play. We can’t take bad penalties like we did on Saturday...” Stahlhuth said.
Specifically, for Missouri State, he said there was a lot of potential for goals in the previous game and they need to find that and capitalize. They need to pester Missouri’s goalie more, get more shots, and pick up rebounds.
“Hopefully Friday and Saturday – and Thursday obviously – our team is ready to go. We have our sleep and have our food and have all our energy,” Stahlhuth said.
Follow Rachel Huston on Twitter