Arizona hockey looks to carry momentum into second half of the season

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Griffin Riley | The Daily Wildcat A fight breaks out between Arizona and ASU on Saturday in Tucson, Ariz.

The Arizona Wildcats hockey team is back in the full swing as it wrapped up a series with the UNLV Rebels on Sunday afternoon. The ‘Cats beat the Rebels in an overtime victory capped off with the game winning goal coming from captain Anthony Cusanelli on Saturday, but they fell to the Rebels 4-3 on Sunday to split the series.

The second semester has been a continuation of what occurred in the first half of the season, as the Wildcats have won the first two out of three games.

The first semester showed just how talented this particular team is, as the ‘Cats have one of the strongest offensive attacks in recent years. The team has been led by forward Bayley Marshall, who has 16 goals to go along with 24 assists. Marshall has been one of the brightest spots on the team, and the ‘Cats can only hope he continues that success into the second half. 

Cusanelli has put in 13 goals and 19 assists. Arizona’s attack is in full effect when Marshall and Cusanelli are leading the way, as the two will certainly be relied on in the stretch run of the season. 

Goalies Anthony Ciurro and Nolan Bivolcic are also an integral part of the team. Ciurro started 14 games in the net for the ‘Cats and has posted a 12-2 record, while Bivolcic has started eight games with a 6-2 record. Both goalies figure to be part of head coach Chad Berman’s game plan, as he will likely ride the hot hand in the second half. 

The ‘Cats’ first half of the season was highlighted with key victories over Grand Canyon University and the University of Colorado, though the one that will stick with Wildcats fans is the sweep over rival ASU, as the ‘Cats won all four games against the Sun Devils in the first half of the season. Beating a rival is always a recipe for success, and Arizona seemed to find its groove. 

The second half of the season will feature some key matchups, including four more games against the rival Sun Devils. 

Arizona will also look to get some revenge against playoff-caliber University of Central Oklahoma, as it beat the Wildcats in their lone matchup earlier this season.

Arizona will also face off against some Pac-12 opponents in the University of Utah and the University of Colorado. The second half will pose a real question mark on whether or not the team can carry on the great success of the first semester. 

So far, the ‘Cats have started off the semester with a 2-2 record and are ranked No. 7 in the American Collegiate Hockey Association rankings.


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