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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona hockey’s Illinois road trip a success

Wildcat hockey swept No. 11 Illinois in its first road trip out of state to get its first sweep of a ranked team on the road since 2006.

No. 19 Arizona (4-2-0) beat the Fighting Illini (7-1-2) 3-1 on Saturday night and 3-2 on Friday night after a shoot-out. Saturday’s win was Illinois’ first loss in regulation of the season.

“This was huge for Wildcat hockey,” head coach Sean Hogan said. “I’d have to look it up, but it’s been a real long time since Arizona has gone into a ranked opponent’s place and won two games. So it’s definitely a big deal for our hockey program.”

Junior forward Ansel Ivens-Anderson said the Wildcats have been talking the past couple of weeks about how none of them can remember the last time the program swept a Division I team on the road, or even at home.

“It’s been a common theme about really wanting to just get a real change in the program,” Ivens-Anderson said. “We just wanted to take this opportunity to really just get our foot in the door nationally.”

Ivens-Anderson scored two goals and junior forward Andrew Murmes scored the other on Friday.

“We were really happy with the game [Friday], getting the tough ‘W’ in the shoot out,” Ivens-Anderson said. “We came in today really just wanting to make a real change in the hockey program, make a big Division I sweep and so all the guys were just really ready to go.”

Junior goalie Steven Sisler had 25 saves on Saturday night and on Friday he stopped both the Illini’s shots in the shoot out. The UI student radio broadcasters said Sisler was the best goalie Illinois has faced all year.

On Saturday, the Wildcats were short-handed missing sophomore forward Mike Ferreira, who was suspended, junior forward Eric Watters, who had a concussion and freshman Mike Adamowicz, who scored a regular goal and a shoot-out goal on Friday but was knocked out of the game in the third period.

“It was a great game, we really battled hard, everybody on the team contributed,” Hogan said. “We really grinded it out.”

On Friday, senior forward Brian Slugocki and Adamowicz scored goals in the three man shoot-out and after two saves by Sisler, there was no need for a third Arizona shooter.

“It’s good to see the team battle back and finally beat a ranked team,” Slugocki said.

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