The Arizona men’s hockey team is on a roll, capping off a weekend that featured a combined 21 goals from the two-game series against the Utah Utes. The Wildcats held the Utes to just one goal over the weekend, but it was the offensive attack that let the defense feel at ease for most of the weekend.
The ‘Cats now find themselves atop the Western Collegiate Standings and are fighting for playoff positioning as the National Tournament approaches in March. The ‘Cats have come together as a team over the course of the season, and forward Bayley Marshall has been one of the key components to the Wildcats’ success.
Marshall, a transfer from Central Oklahoma, has found a home playing for the Wildcats. Marshall looked to Arizona as another opportunity for his growth a player and has not regretted his decision one bit.
“I contacted a number of different coaches, and coach Berman got back to us. We came to visit the school and fell in love with the university,” Marshall said.
The “us” that Marshall is referring to is his brother Dawson, who is a freshman on the Wildcat hockey team.
The two were viewed as two of head coach Chad Berman’s biggest recruiting players. Berman spoke about Bayley’s immediate impact when he first arrived to Tucson and how he would contribute to the team this season.
“He brings everything we have been targeting in one package: size, skill and great hockey sense,” Berman said when Marshall decided on the Wildcats.
Marshall has certainly showcased the full package that Berman addressed, as he currently leads the ‘Cats in most of their statistical categories. He is atop the team leaderboard in points, with 56; goals, with 20; and assists, with 36, this season. But Marshall doesn’t pay much attention to his stats and instead has a team-first mentality.
“Everyone is playing their role. We have a great group of guys; top-line guys are scoring goals and bottom-line guys are mucking the corners and grinding. We’ve just been giving it our all, and it’s translated to a lot of wins so far this year,” Marshall said.
The assists have just shown what type of team player Marshall truly is, as he always makes sure his fellow teammates are getting involved.
Teammate and captain Anthony Cusanelli was a 2017-18 WCHL All-Rookie along with Marshall. The two have formed a dynamic attacking line for the ‘Cats and feed off each other’s success. UA will certainly be reliant on the two as the playoffs draw nearer.
Marshall spoke on a common issue that Berman has addressed over the course of the season: playing a full game without any errors or regrets.
“We definitely need to start playing a full 60 minutes. We just need to make sure that we are consistent and getting through the whole game 100 percent,” Marshall said.
That’s a key component for a championship team, and the Wildcats have shown their growth as a team throughout the course of the season. The team knows it has to hold on to its position in the standings and will need to play to the end if it wants to find success in the postseason.
The goal for Marshall was made very clear as he spoke on his goal for the rest of the season.
“A goal of mine is to win our division right now,” Marshall said. “We’re in a good spot, we just have to win out, which would be awesome. Then, of course, to win the National Championship would certainly be something special.”
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