The Daily Wildcat recently spoke to the starting goalie for Arizona hockey, No. 30 Anthony Ciurro, after the team’s 2-4 home loss to ASU. Ciurro, a junior from Peoria, Ariz., attended Centennial High School in his hometown and is currently majoring in pharmaceutical sciences.
Daily Wildcat: If you could play any other position in college ice hockey, what would it be?
Anthony Ciurro: I’d probably play forward so that I could score goals. I get scored against, so [if I was a forward], I could score against instead.
DW: What is it that originally brought you to the University of Arizona and the Arizona hockey team?
AC: Meeting [head] coach [Chad] Berman. I mean, he got me. Kept talking to me about playing juniors and then kind of came through. I just couldn’t really say no to that.
DW: What were the expectations for the team coming into this season?
AC: They were pretty high because we had a lot of returners this year. I think we only lost one or two guys last year, so a lot of returners. A lot [of] guys are coming back and they’re wanting to do bigger and better things.
DW: How does your mental and physical prep in goal change when you know you will be going against a ranked opponent like ASU?
AC: I don’t think it changes at all. I think we act about the same no matter who we’re playing. I mean, it’s a little bit more fun playing ASU and good talent and rivalry.
DW: What unexpected challenges have you encountered this season both in practice as well as games?
AC: As a team, a lot of injuries, but guys have stepped up, and guys that weren’t playing at the beginning of the year have stepped into roles and played really well. That’s the biggest thing. I’ve never been on a team with how many injuries we’ve had. … With practice, I have class from 4-5 [p.m.] every day, so I come to practice at least thirty minutes a day. School comes first, so it has been my biggest challenge this semester.
DW: When it comes to defending your side of the arena, to what extent does communication and passing come into your game plan?
AC: Communication’s huge, because me and the defensemen and the two forwards, if we’re talking, then it will make everything easier. Communication’s huge and it’s kind of all leads of that.
DW: What has been the best part about being Arizona’s starting goalie?
AC: This program’s amazing; alumni coming in. Every year, it feels like there is more and more people coming up every year for Alumni Weekend. That crowd is awesome. You can’t beat it. You can’t really find it anywhere else.
DW: What has been the worst?
AC: [The] practice schedule. [In] February, the ice gets taken up because of the gem show, so we don’t have ice for a month. So that’s probably the biggest part about it.
DW: What advice do you bring to your side of the net when your team is winning?
AC: I just keep it simple. The biggest thing is just getting the puck.
DW: What about when they’re down?
AC: Adversity. You got to come out and play hard. Play hard until the last five minutes.
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