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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona hockey sweeps SDSU after long layoff

The No. 18 Arizona hockey team returned to action this weekend after a nearly month-long break, beating San Diego State 5-1 Friday and 5-2 Saturday at the Tucson Convention Center.

“We started out a little slow on Friday, which I kind of thought we would,” head coach Sean Hogan said, as the Wildcats ended the first period scoreless against the Division II Aztecs.

But forward Eric Watters got the scoring started with a goal in the second period, shaking off some of the rust from the 27-day break. The Aztecs answered back with a goal of their own, but forward Jared Lowell was able to regain the lead for good and the UA never looked back.

Forward Andrew Murmes scored another in the second, and defender Jonathan Wantanabe and forward Jeff Wadhams added two more goals in the third to complete the 5-1 victory.

“Those are games that I think you’d say we are expected to win, and we went in there and we got the job done,” Hogan said.

The game on Saturday didn’t play out the same way as the previous night, yet it had a similar theme.

This time the Wildcats had no problem scoring — Brian Slugocki had one goal and forward Andrew Murmes contributed two more — but Arizona was again unable to gain any type of real separation from the Aztecs in the opening period, holding a 3-2 lead after 20 minutes of action.

Every time the Wildcats scored, the Aztecs quickly answered back, Slugocki said.

However, the second period again proved to be the difference as the UA was able to finally create a two-goal cushion with a goal by forward Chad Wade, and then Lowell added another in the third to complete the sweep with a 5-2 victory.

“Regardless of how often you work out over the break, there’s nothing like getting skating legs or anything like that,” Slugocki said. “So it kind of took us a little bit to get our legs back and get that second wind. I think that was definitely evident in the first period of both games.”

Yet even with the slow start, the team was able to regain form and finish the weekend off strongly, assistant captain Brady Lefferts said.

With the second half of the season underway and two wins under its belt, the team is ready to start again from where they left off, Lefferts said.

“I think we are ready to go, I think we are back,” he said.

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