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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Wildcat hockey finishes season with two more ASU losses

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Even with all the changes to the No. 21 Arizona hockey team this season, one thing has stayed consistent — the Wildcats’ inability to beat their in-state rival.

Arizona concluded its season against No. 4 ASU at home this weekend, losing 2-1 Friday and 5-3 Saturday, finishing the season 0-7-1 against the Sun Devils.

“At this point in our building process we have the unfortunate circumstance of playing them eight times a year,” head coach Sean Hogan said. “Next year I have no doubt we’ll beat them … And the year after that we’re going to surpass them.”

Losing to the Sun Devils is nothing new as the Wildcats are now winless in their last 24 games against ASU. The last time they won was more than three seasons ago in a shootout victory at home in 2009.

“It’s just been mental mistakes all year, especially against these guys, and it’s really cost us,” captain Brian Slugocki said. “It’s disappointing, to say the least.”

The Wildcats got off to a good start on Friday after a goal by forward Jeff Wadhams, but they couldn’t maintain a lead. The Sun Devils tied the game in the middle of the first period, then scored the eventual game winner just more than five minutes into the second.

Arizona again had a strong start Saturday, jumping out to an early 2-0 lead after goals by forwards Andrew Murmes and Mike Ferreira. After an ASU goal closed the gap, Nick Stolz gave the Wildcats a 3-1 advantage, but again, the Sun Devils came surging back.

With the game tied 3-3 and less than four minutes left to play, ASU defender Brian Parson scored a deep wrist shot, beating goalkeeper Steven Sisler and the Wildcats on senior night, sending the “white-out” crowd home in disappointment.

Assistant captain Brady Lefferts stressed the need to keep scoring against the talented ASU team.

“We weren’t able to put any more in the net,” the senior said. “One extra goal there might have been the difference.”

After a late empty-net goal, things got out of hand. A fight erupted with less than 20 seconds left, resulting in all five Wildcats being sent to the penalty box. Hogan was upset with how the game ended and even had to talk to the referees so the ASU players wouldn’t be disqualified for the national tournament due to their fight.

“That’s just classless of us,” Hogan said. “I laid into our guys about it because that’s not what we are going to be about here. That last minute, I’m pretty embarrassed by it.”

of us,” Hogan said. “I laid into our guys about it because that’s not what we are going to be about here. But that last minute, I’m pretty embarrassed by it.”

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