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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona hockey sweeps NAU on the road

Natalie+Hannah+%2F+The+Lumberjack
Natalie Hannah / The Lumberjack

The No. 19 Arizona hockey team swept Northern Arizona on the road to secure its first 2-0-0 start since 2007-08.

Arizona beat the Ice Jacks (0-2-0) 7-3 on Friday and 4-2 on Saturday. Senior forward Brian Slugocki led the way for the Wildcats with a pair of goals both nights.

“It’s good to go 2-0-0,” head coach Sean Hogan said. “We’re headed in the right direction, but we have real stiff competition this week with ASU and we’re going to have to play much better.”

On Saturday Arizona went down 1-0 in the first period and the Ice Jacks tied it at 2-2 in the second before the Wildcats pulled away.

“We actually played a little bit better than we did on Friday night,” Hogan said. “We had a lot of opportunities, we hit a lot of posts, we missed a few pretty point blank chances, missed a breakaway, but I think we played well offensively.”

Junior forward Ansel Ivens-Anderson and junior defenseman Kevin Allen also scored in the 4-2 win. Sophomore goalie Bob Schultz started and earned the win.

Because of construction delays at their home arena, the Wildcats were only able to begin practicing a few days before the series.

“There was definitely some significance to that,” Hogan said. “I think there was times when we looked lost. You can’t cover as much in one week.”

On Friday, Arizona won 7-3 to open the season.

“A win is a win,“ Hogan said on Friday. “But we definitely looked rusty.”

In addition to Slugocki’s pair, freshman forward Tyler Baumanis also scored two goals.

“It was a good first game,” Slugocki said. “It’s the first time we won our opening game in my career. It was a little sloppy, but we pulled it together and got the ‘W.’”

Baumanis impressed both Hogan and Slugocki and was awarded the game puck.

“Tyler Baumanis surprised me because he scored two goals, he worked hard, killed some penalties, did a good job,” Hogan said.

“Obviously I was impressed with him and our first two lines were pretty good.”

Slugocki downplayed any revenge angle. Arizona lost 5-4 to NAU at home during former head coach Leo Golembiewski’s final season.

“That’s a totally different team, when we were under a different coach … It’s a brand new season,” Slugocki said. “We wanted to win, obviously, and did what ever it took to make sure we got the win at the end of the game.”

Freshman forward Mike Adamowicz, junior forward Andrew Murmes and Ivens-Anderson scored Arizona’s other goals.

“We knew that as the game went on, we would play better and better, the first period was a little sloppy … I don’t necessarily think we played great, but we played better in the third for sure,” Hogan said.

Junior Steven Sisler started at goalie for Arizona and made 33 saves. Hogan said he was impressed with Sisler and Schultz but doesn’t know who will start against ASU.

“You know what, I don’t know yet, we definitely have a goalie competition going on here,” Hogan said. “Whoever’s playing the best is going to be the guy to go. Regardless of whether it’s a freshman or a senior, we’re going to go with the guy that’s playing the best.”

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