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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Q&A: Hogan, Wildcats hockey learning on the fly

The Arizona hockey program underwent a number of major changes during the offseason, but the Wildcats are right in the thick of the playoff hunt and sit at No. 18 in the American Collegiate Hockey Association rankings. Led by first-year coach Sean Hogan, the Wildcats have found a sense of normalcy and routine that was lacking in years past. The Daily Wildcat caught up with Hogan to see how the Arizona job stacks up with his expectations, how the players have adjusted to a culture change and what the Wildcats need to do to make the postseason.

Daily Wildcat: How would you assess the team’s performance through the first half of the season?

Hogan: I think we’ve done pretty well. We’ve won three games against ACHA top-10 opponents which hasn’t been done here in awhile, we’re ranked No. 18 which is the highest since 2006, and we’re three spots away from making our first national tournament since 2004. We had a few hiccups along the way — the loss to Colorado (and) the loss to (No. 17) Central Oklahoma in a game we were up by two goals. Those are things that stick out the most to me, but on the overall picture of it, we are in a pretty good position to make a run at the national tournament.

Have you been able to implement a new culture into the team?

Yeah, I think we have. I think we still have a little bit of a ways to go on it. We always talk about how winning and having success, there is a process to that. Whether you’re winning or losing, your approach has to be the same. Your preparation, whether it’s hockey or it’s your preparation for school or work, should always been your number one focus. And that’s what we’re implementing, and I think we are doing a pretty good job at it.

How does this team compare to others you’ve coached in the past?

The thing that’s different here is that I was hired pretty late. (I was) coming into a team that’s basically already there, and taking over with the pieces already in place. But it’s been an unbelievable experience. I love being at the University of Arizona, I love being able to coach this team. I’m real grateful for that opportunity; it’s been a lot of fun.

Has coaching here been what you expected?

It’s been better than I expected, actually. This is a place that a lot of people would like to have the opportunity to coach at. Every game, every home game especially, I’m really excited about our fan support and the amount of fun it is to be there at the TCC. I love it, it’s been great.

What does this team need to do to reach the national tournament?

Well it’s going to be important that we don’t have any hiccups. We need to try and find a way to win these two games this weekend, and then it will be really important if we can somehow get a sweep of (No. 13) Davenport, that would be tremendous, try to steal one from (No. 3) Arizona State, and try and steal one or both from (No. 10 Minot State). I think that will get us in.

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