The Arizona Wildcats men’s hockey team swept both Colorado and Colorado State this past weekend, led by Bayley Marshall and terrific goalkeeping from both Anthony Ciurro and Nolan Bivolcic.
The Wildcats are now one win away from their first West Coast Hockey League title.
The Wildcats hit the ground running Thursday night with a 2-0 victory over the No. 22-ranked Colorado State Rams. The main storyline was Marshall who scored a goal in both the first and second period. Bivolcic’s stout goalkeeping was also a major factor in the Wildcats' win.
Assistant coach Toppie Hogan said, “We are happy that we won the game tonight, but we have to win all the small battles and pay attention to the small details if we hope to keep winning.”
Following the win, the Wildcats didn’t have much time to rest, as they had to take on the No. 16-ranked Colorado Buffaloes the very next day. That Friday afternoon, Josh Larson found the net, his ninth goal of the season, and gave the Wildcats a 1-0 lead after the first period. Ethan Stahlhuth joined the party with a goal in the second period to give the Wildcats a 2-0 lead heading into the final period.
The Buffaloes stuck around late as Trace Jablin cut the lead in half with 1:59 left in the game. Colorado had 38 shots on goal compared to Arizona’s 24, but because of Ciurro’s stellar goalkeeping, the Wildcats were able to hang on with a 2-1 victory.
To cap off the weekend, the Wildcats once again faced off against the Buffaloes. Marshall scored an early goal in the first period, followed by an Stahlhuth goal in the second period. The Buffaloes started to find their rhythm with a goal on a power play by Joe Kinsella and an equalizer by Cole MacKie to even the score.
The story of the game was the Wildcats' explosion in the third period. Arguably their best period of the season, the team tallied 5 goals. Marshall scored his second goal, and team captain Anthony Cusanelli also found the net. Chris Westlund stole the show with an incredible hat trick all coming in the third period. Jablin scored on a penalty shot late for the Buffalos, but ultimately it wasn’t enough, as the Wildcats cruised to a 7-3 victory capping off a great three game stretch.
The Wildcats are ranked No. 6 nationally and hope to move into the top 5 this upcoming week.
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