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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Hockey Dominates in Tucson

Gordon Bates
Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat UA Soccer vs Washington, october 30 2011

Already leading 9-0 in the second period, Arizona hockey defenseman Jonathan Watanabe’s shot deflected over the goalkeeper’s shoulder, falling directly to the unmarked stick of forward David Rizk, who calmly slid the puck into the empty net for the shorthanded goal.

Everything went right for the No. 23 Wildcats in their commanding sweep of Texas in their first home series of the season, as Arizona won 16-0 Friday and 10-0 Saturday at the Tucson Convention Center.

“It wasn’t the prettiest goal, but it still counts on the board,” Rizk said, whose goal was the first of his college career.

The onslaught started from the play of assistant captain Brady Lefferts who scored a hat trick within the first 11 minutes of the game Friday. Yet that was more than enough insurance for the Wildcats as goalkeeper David Herman was barely tested the entire night. Lefferts added another goal five minutes into the second period and the Wildcats’ 5-0 lead quickly ballooned to a 12-0 advantage at the end of the second period.

Texas is just not a good team, according to forward Justin Gaudino, who scored the first two goals of his college career in the second period.

Forward Eric Watters had a hat trick Friday night and assistant captain Geordy Weed also had a multiple-goal night, scoring two in the final period to cap off the 16-0 rout.

Saturday was more of the same as the Wildcats simply overpowered the Longhorns from start to finish, putting the puck in the net five times in the first period. In total, captain Brian Slugocki had two in the game while eight other Wildcats scored once, giving the team their second double-digit victory of the weekend. Goalkeeper Steven Sisler got the start in net and faced very little offensive pressure Saturday as well.

“As a coach, it’s not fun to coach those games,” head coach Sean Hogan said.

“You try to stick to your system; you try to just use them as learning tools.”

Unfortunately frustrations began to boil over in the second and third period with the Wildcats still comfortably in control. After several scuffles on the ice, three players were ejected in the final few minutes of the game. Forward Spencer Cherney and Kyle Miranda both had an early exit while Texas had one player sent off. Rizk also spent extended time in the penalty box after a confrontation with a Longhorn in the second period.

Some of the penalties weren’t smart, but that happens when games get out of hand, Hogan said.

“We don’t want to do anything stupid. We don’t want to embarrass out program.”

The weekend marks the first time the team has played a game in Tucson as an official university club sport. And everything went about as well as it could in the Wildcats home debut.

“We want to do something big here and just put Arizona on the map,” Rizk said.

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