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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Hockey opens year against ASU

The No. 22 Arizona hockey team takes on No. 9 ASU this weekend at the Oceanside Ice Arena. The two-game series, which starts with a game tonight at 8 p.m. and concludes with a game on Saturday at 6 p.m., will be the first contest for the newly rebranded Wildcats.

Even though these are technically the first games for the new club team, they do still carry some added pressure. The hockey program, which was previously known as the Arizona Icecats, has lost 16 straight games to ASU, and the Sun Devils are again the favorite to win.

It will be a huge test for the team and first-year head coach Sean Hogan, who will have their first look at whether the offseason changes are purely superficial or are really a sign of change for the program.

“I’m losing sleep over how excited I am for these games,” junior captain Brian Slugocki said. “I literally woke up in the middle of the night and my heart (was) beating because I’m just beyond ready to play.”

Tonight will be the first of eight games in total that the UA will play against ASU this season. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, this may prove to be a daunting task since the highly ranked Sun Devils already have shown signs of their potential. In their first two games, they beat NAU 10-0 and 11-0 respectively.

However, Arizona is bringing back a lot of talent from last year. Eight of the top nine scorers are returning for the Wildcats.

They also have experience; six seniors and seven juniors are on the roster. Of course, the seniors’ knowledge is even more valuable tonight, considering they are the only ones on the roster that have beaten the Sun Devils.

“At the end of the weekend they will be injured, they will be sore,” said Slugocki, who has never been on the winning side of the rivalry games. “We are gonna beat them until the game clock is over and we have a W.”

The game will be played at Oceanside Ice Arena in Tempe, a smaller venue than the Tucson Convention Center.

“When we come out of the locker room, we are pretty much face to face with the fans,” senior forward Blake Richards said. “It’s definitely a unique atmosphere because it’s so small and the fans are intense. It’s a great place to play.”

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