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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona hockey traveling to Tempe to play rival ASU

Colin Prenger
Colin Prenger / Arizona Daily Wildcat UA hockey vs ASU on Oct. 30, 2011.

The Arizona ice team gets its first two chances to end a 24-game losing streak to arch rival Arizona State this weekend.

No. 19 Arizona (2-0-0) faces a stiff test in No. 4 ASU (1-0-0) at Oceanside Arena in Tempe, Ariz. The puck drops Friday at 8 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Hogan said on paper the Sun Devils are one of the best teams he has seen as head coach.

“We have to go out there to play a good hockey game to beat them,” Hogan said. “I’m excited about it, we have the guys who can beat ASU for sure.”

The Sun Devils opened the season with a 13-0 win over Division II Texas A&M. The game can be heard on ASU’s radio station, and watched on fast for a few dollars per game.

Junior forward Brian McGinty, a transfer from NCAA Division I Canisius, had two goals and two assists agains the Aggies. Senior forward Dan Styrna had four assists and freshman defenseman Jordan Young had six points against Texas A&M.

ASU returned their leading three scorers from their 29-4-3 team of a year ago and added a highly touted recruiting class. Styrna and junior foward Kale Dolinski had 46 points and senior forward Colin Hekle had 39 last year.

“We just got to play our game and play well and we’re not going to take anything away from ASU, but we’re excited about our team too,” Hogan said.

Last year the Sun Devils were upset by Oakland 3-2 in overtime during their first game of the national tournament and the UA finished a few slots out of the playoffs.

Though he only played 31 minutes in the Aggie rout, Arizona expects junior Joe D’Elia to play goalie for the Sun Devils.

However, ASU head coach Greg Powers told the State Press that they have a goalie competition.

Last weekend the Wildcats traveled to Flagstaff, where they swept a two game set with NAU, 7-3 and 4-2. Junior forward Andrew Murmes scored eight points in Flagstaff and senior forward Brian Slugocki had six points.

“Thank god we played those games,” Hogan said. “Hopefully it gets out a lot of bad habits, but yeah, we definitely needed to do that.”

The series will be at Oceanside Arena, an intimate venue unlike the Tucson Convention Center, that Hogan said seats probably less than 750 people — though there will be around a thousand people there. “They’ll jam ‘em in,” he said.

“It’s a cool atmosphere, an old school college atmosphere, the way rinks used to be,” Hogan said. “There will be a ton of U of A people up there. It’s pretty loud, it’s noisy, they’ll sell beer at our game up there and it will be a lot of fun.”

Beating the Sun Devils could help the Wildcats shoot up the rankings.

“I think it would help us tremendously,” Slugocki said about a win at ASU. “We should jump up several spots, definitely be top 15. They’re a good team. It’ll definitely help out a lot if we beat them.”

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