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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona hockey hosts Canadian varsity team

Arizona hockey returns to action for the first time since Dec. 7, 2013, for a pair of home games against York University of the elite Canadian Interuniversity Sport league.

The Wildcats will have their work cut out for them as the Lions roster includes four players with experience playing at the professional level, one picked in the 2006 NHL draft.

Located in Toronto, Ont., York (8-7-0) plays at the top level of the CIS, which is regarded as the Canadian equal of the NCAA Division I’s competition. Several of the Lions who once went pro made it as far as the American Hockey League (AHL), just one step from the NHL.

No. 12 Arizona (10-12-0) is looking to snap a four-game skid after being swept in two games by No. 1 ASU, and then-No.4 Iowa State in consecutive series. Entering 2014 senior forward Andrew Murmes leads the Wildcats with 30 points from 15 goals and as many assists.

Just over a month has passed since York played, the game was a 5-3 loss to the Lakehead Thunderwolves on Nov. 30, 2013.

Jessie Messier, who earned 124 points in 179 games while playing in the Ontario Hockey League, leads York in points with 17. The Lions defense is anchored by John De Gray, who was selected in round three of the 2006 NHL draft by the Anaheim Ducks.

The UA capped off 2013 with a Dec. 31 practice, and commenced the new year with two additional practices on the first and second. The next time Arizona will face a fellow ACHA foe will be Thursday, Jan. 9 to face another tough opponent: Oklahoma.

The puck drop is at 7:30 p.m. tonight and tomorrow at the Tucson Convention Center.

Follow Joey Putrelo @JoeyPutrelo

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