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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Sweep all but ends Arizona hockey’s postseason hopes

Once the Davenport Panthers’ shot hit the back of the net in the waning seconds of overtime on Saturday, the Arizona hockey team was left needing nothing short of a miracle to receive an invitation to the national tournament. But the team’s “Mighty Ducks” moment never came.

“It’s tough when you battle that hard, and you’re doing all the right things and it’s just not bouncing your way,” defender Nick Stolz said. “It’s tough out there. You feel like you put it all out there, you put everything on this line and it just didn’t go your way.”

The Wildcats outshot the defending national champion Panthers 33-20 Friday and sent the game to overtime Saturday, but never led during any time over the weekend and failed to convert on every one of their power play opportunities, dropping both games 2-1.

The results showed signs of improvement; the last time Arizona played the defending national champions — in 2010 against Lindenwood — it lost 13-4 and 10-2.

“We’ve taken a team an incredibly long way in a short period time to where we lost to the defending national champions by a goal each game … and we’re upset about it,” head coach Sean Hogan said.

But at this point in the season, the Wildcats need more than moral victories if they want to play in Strongsville, Ohio, for the national tournament.

Thanks to forward Andrew Murmes’ game-tying goal in the third period Saturday night, the Wildcats did come away with a point from the overtime loss. But in a weekend where they had multiple opportunities to either tie the game Friday or win Saturday, the results won’t sit well with the Wildcats.

“I thought we dominated both games, we outshot them,” defender Zack Waxenberg said. “We just came up a little short putting it in.”

Murmes was Arizona’s only form of offense Friday, scoring just 11 seconds into the third period after skating past the Panthers’ defense and placing the puck in the upper corner of the net. But the goal came with the Wildcats already down by two and they were unable to ever grab the equalizer.

Sophomore Steven Sisler started his fourth straight game in net and again played well, but his offense was unable to give him enough protection either night to come away with a victory.

“We still have the outlook that we want to make it to nationals, that we want to make it further,” Stolz said. “We are still going to keep battling, but obviously we’re building the team essentially from scratch. So it’s going to be tough, but we’re looking to turn things around this season.”

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