The Arizona Wildcats ended a six-game losing streak as they split a two-game series against the Colorado Golden Buffaloes (7-3-0).
“Let’s make no mistake about it: We needed this win,” UA hockey head coach Chad Berman said.
A stellar performance by freshman goalie Austin Wilson helped Arizona defeat Colorado 3-1 on Saturday night. During his debut, Wilson saved 29 of 30 shots on his first start for the Wildcats.
“I wanted to come in feeling confident during my first college start, but then I got scored on during the second shot of the game, so there was some doubt,” Wilson said. “But, I rebounded at the end of the first period there, and I think I played pretty well.”
Assisted by Shane Gleason, Robbie Wilkinson scored a goal early into the second period to give Arizona a 2-1 lead.
The Wildcats excelled on the penalty kill, not giving up a single goal in five chances. The Wildcats were forced to rely heavily on their penalty kill unit throughout the game, as they racked up 20 penalty minutes.
After intercepting a pass from a Colorado player, Jason Effertz hit a dagger in the net for the Wildcats in the last 44 seconds of the game to seal Arizona’s 3-1 victory.Friday night, Arizona fell to Colorado 3-2 during their third straight overtime.
Arizona forward Jake Campbell scored his first goal of his collegiate career to tie the game 1-1.
Dylan Carter returned Friday for the Wildcats after being out for two weeks with a hamstring injury. Carter scored the equalizer to go into overtime.
Colorado forward Dak Dice leads the Buffaloes in scoring. Dice scored once during regulation and then sealed the victory for Colorado as he put another one in the net during overtime.
Thursday night, Arizona skated off the ice after another defeat in overtime at the hands of Colorado State(8-5-0).
Often referred to as the worst lead in hockey, Arizona trailed the Rams 2-0 seconds into the third period.
Alex Nespor and Mike Adamowicz tied the game in the third period to move into overtime.
Nespor’s goal resulted in crashing the net and creating intense traffic in front of the net. Berman said the key to success on offense is creating traffic in front of the opposing team’s goalie and getting in good position to capitalize on the rebound shot.
“We had zero shots in the first two periods, in front of their net, inside the crease area,” Berman said, “until the third period [when] we had four shots in front of their net, which resulted in two goals.”
Several power play chances opened the door for Arizona to tie the game, but the Wildcats were unable to capitalize during the one-man advantage. Arizona went 1 for 9 during power plays.
“We have to learn not to lose,” Adamowicz said. “We’re learning to lose, and we’re finding ways to lose. We need to find a way to start wining and scoring more.”No. 16 Arizona (4-6-3) will host Michigan State on Friday when the puck drops at 7:30 p.m.
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