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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Wildcat hockey heads to Colorado on heels of postseason elimination

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Ginny Polin
Ginny Polin/ Arizona Daily Wildcat hockey vs ASU

The final rankings of the ACHA hockey season were released on Wednesday, and the Arizona hockey team was officially eliminated from the national tournament.

However, the No. 21 Wildcats still have four games left on their schedule, including two this weekend at Colorado and Colorado State. And while their playoff dreams are dashed, the Wildcats have an opportunity to ease the pain with a little revenge against Colorado.

“You always try to approach every game the same, but especially with a loss like that where (Colorado) beat up on you in your own barn, you definitely want to do the same to them,” defender Shane Gleason said. “It makes you work a little harder.”

The Wildcats travel to Colorado to take on the two ACHA Division II opponents, and while the team is focused on ending its seven-game losing streak, the opportunity to end the skid while also atoning for its worst loss of the season makes the game that much more important.

“It’s their home ice and we can pretty much return the favor,” assistant captain Geordy Weed said.

Last time the Wildcats played Colorado, they lost 6-5 in a back-and-forth game that ended on a heartbreaking goal by Colorado with just 12 seconds left in the game.

Going into a series at home against Michigan State, Arizona was ranked No. 18 and were on the cusp of the playoffs. But the Wildcats have lost seven straight games since, and ended up falling well short of the No. 16 spot they needed to reach to receive a bid.

“We’ve been losing a lot of heartbreakers lately,” forward Jeff Wadhams said. “We’re losing close games, but these are games we know we can win, especially with the (Colorado schools) coming up. We know they are going to compete with us, but we like our chances.”

The Wildcats had the luxury of a week off to regroup after their recent losses, but Wadhams said the team isn’t trying to put too much pressure on ending the losing streak — it just needs to start playing again.

“You just want to go out there clear-minded and stick to the game plan. Eventually we will start getting these bounces our way,” he said. “We’re going to start winning these close games and we’ll forget about the word heartbreaker.”

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