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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona hockey swept by ASU

Arizona’s hockey woes against rival ASU continued this weekend, dropping both games of a two-game series at the Tucson Convention Center, 6-4 Friday and 7-2 Saturday.

“I tip my hat to those guys … they’re a good hockey team,” head coach Sean Hogan said about the No. 3 Sun Devils. “They are a level beyond us right now.”

The UA had been playing well, beating No. 6 Oklahoma and No. 5 Ohio in consecutive weeks, but was unable to match the talent of ASU, especially Saturday.

“ASU is a top two team right now,” Hogan said.

Things got off to a promising start for the Wildcats on Friday night when they responded to an early ASU goal with two of their own to take a 2-1 lead.

But around the three-minute mark, a controversial call changed the momentum of the game — putting the Wildcats in a hole they were never able to recover from.

An ASU shot appeared to bounce off the post after beating goalkeeper David Herman but officials ruled it a goal. The Wildcats also picked up a penalty while disputing the call, and were paid the price for it with a power play goal by ASU just 40 seconds later, giving the Sun Devils a 3-2 lead.

The puck clearly didn’t go in, forward Andrew Murmes said.

“I don’t know how he made that call, but you just got to deal with it, bear down, and go with it,” he said.

The Wildcats also had a potential goal of their own called away later in the game.
The puck was in the back of the net and then the goal was moved, so the goal was disallowed, Murmes said.

“It’s tough when you’re working hard and the game’s just getting taken from you,” Murmes said. “And it goes both ways, both teams I know were frustrated … we want to play 5-on-5, we want to play hockey.”

ASU took advantage of the rattled Wildcats with a goal in the second period and another in the first part of the final period to take a 5-2 advantage. Forward David Rizk was able to cut the lead to 5-4 with two goals of his own,, but ASU scored a dagger with just six minutes remaining in the game.

“Yeah there was some bad reffing, but you can’t blame a 6-4 loss on that,” captain Brian Slugocki said. “We just didn’t show up this weekend. I mean the heart was there, it’s just tough. It just didn’t seem like a lot of the guys wanted it.”

Saturday’s game wasn’t nearly as competitive.

Murmes gave the Wildcats an early lead with a goal just minutes into the game, and it stayed that way for most of the period. But the Sun Devils were able to tie the game at 1-1 with less than two minutes to play in the first.

Then things turned ugly for the UA.

ASU scored two goals in the first minute of the second period and then added a power play goal to build a 4-1 advantage.

Forward Jonathan Wantanabe appeared to give Arizona a shot to claw back into the game with a goal at the start of the third period, but the Wildcats’ comeback hopes were quickly squashed as ASU put three straight in the net.

Frustrations, mixed with the heated nature of the rivalry, resulted in several fights Saturday. Four players were eventually ejected — two from each side.

The seven goals were the most the Wildcats have given up all year and the 7-2 loss was their worst defeat of the season.

“I’ll make sure that never happens (again),” Slugocki said.

The Wildcats now have an extended break before playing again in Tucson against Division II San Diego State on Jan. 6 and 7.

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