Arizona Wildcat hockey ended a six-game losing streak with a sweep this past weekend at the Tucson Convention Center Arena. On Friday night, No. 29 Arizona (11-13) swept the Division II Utes of Utah (20-11-1) with a shutout 2-0, and then won again 6-1 on Saturday night.
“It was nice to finally get the win for the team after a long losing streak,” UA forward Robbie Wilkinson said. “It gets the confidence up in the dressing room, which is huge. Every game for the rest of the season is pretty much a playoff game, and we have to play like a tournament contender.”
Arizona’s Friday night shutout came from goalie Garrett Patrick, who saved 31 shots on goal. Patrick is the Wildcats’ starting goalie and holds a .90 save percentage.
Roy Grandov scored first for the Wildcats with an assist from captain Shane Gleason. Arizona sealed its victory when Brian (Toppie) Hogan scored the second goal of the game on an assist from his twin, John Hogan.
On Saturday night, the Wildcats played relentless on offense. Arizona netted in three goals during the first period alone.
Dylan Carter scored two goals, and Brian Hogan scored one. That gave Brian Hogan his fifth goal of his collegiate career. He now has scored as many goals (five) in as many games (five) he has played.
“I was a little nervous coming out to play, because I hadn’t played a game in a year-and-a-half,” Brian Hogan said. “I just wanted to get out there, win a face-off, get the puck in deep and work hard. I knew I couldn’t get in much trouble if I went 150 percent. But once I scored my first goal in my third shift, the ball was rolling, and it was a weight lifted off [John Hogan’s shoulders] and [my] shoulders. I forgot just how much fun hockey was, and knew I made the right decision to play for the University of Arizona.”
Unfortunately for goalie Austin Wilson, he could not win with a shutout. Utah defenseman Dylan Graves scored with an unassisted and uncontested top-shelf goal that gave Graves his third goal of the season.
John Hogan, Alex O’Dea and Wilkinson all scored to contribute in a solid win for the Wildcats.
“These two wins this weekend were huge for our team,” Carter said. “Our confidence is high, and this will be crucial for our next games against an elite team like Stony Brook.”
Arizona will play in a two-game series this coming weekend against No. 8 Stony Brook University. On Saturday night, the Wildcat hockey team will “Pink the Rink” to support breast cancer. The puck drops both Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the TCC.
Follow Zoe Wolowitz on Twitter.