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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona falls flat in series against Utah in Salt Lake City

Arizona+hockeys+gaoly+waits+for+the+puck+drop+in+game+agiant+rival+ASU+on+Feb.+24%2C+2023+in+the+Tucson+Conversation+Center.+The+Wildcat+hockey+team+won+1-0.
Nathanial Stenchever
Arizona hockey’s goalie waits for the puck drop in game against rival ASU on Friday. Feb. 24, in the Tucson Conversation Center. The Wildcat hockey team won 1-0.

The Arizona men’s hockey team faced the University of Utah (6-6) in Salt Lake City on Friday, Nov. 17, and Saturday, Nov. 18. This followed their series against ASU in Tempe, which resulted in a draw. The Wildcats (6-5-1) aimed to replicate their previous victories against the Utes at home in Tucson back in September.

Arizona took the initial lead in the series but, despite a 6-2 advantage when scoring first, failed to extend it, leading to a defeat in the first game. In an attempt to level the series, the Wildcats entered the third period with a lead but were unable to maintain it, ultimately falling 3-2.

Game 1: Friday, Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m.

The opening of the period in Salt Lake City saw a quiet start until Arizona’s Jesse Lowell netted the series’s first shot within five minutes. Lowell’s seventh goal of the season solidified his position as the leading scorer for the Wildcats. Utah’s Matthew Delany responded, equalizing the score under a minute later. The period was marked by a relentless Utah offense, producing 17 shots compared to Arizona’s nine. Despite this, Utah scored again in the final minutes, ending the period with Arizona trailing 1-2.

Arizona quickly responded in the second period, with Brendan Williams scoring just 33 seconds in, tying the game. However, Utah regained the lead five minutes later. The remainder of the period remained quiet, and Utah maintained its lead. The third period saw the Wildcats attempt 10 shots on goal to Utah’s seven, but they failed to overcome the deficit, resulting in their defeat.

Game 2: Saturday, Nov. 18 at 7:30 p.m.

In the second game, the Wildcats sought to avenge their previous loss but faced an early setback as Utah scored within 2 minutes. Despite a dominant Utah offense attempting twice as many shots on goal (10) compared to Arizona (5), the Wildcats capitalized on a late powerplay chance, with Sam Myers equalizing 15 minutes into the period. The first period featured numerous penalties, with Arizona totaling four and Utah totaling three.

The second period passed with limited action until Lowell scored his eighth goal of the season with a minute and a half remaining. The Wildcats entered the third period with a one-goal advantage, but Utah quickly netted two consecutive goals, securing a 3-2 victory despite Arizona’s attempts. This loss marked the Wildcats’ series defeat against a team they previously dominated at home.

Looking Ahead

Arizona continues to struggle in road games, holding a 1-6 record when playing outside of Tucson. They face the University of Nevada – Las Vegas on Friday, Dec. 1 and 2, aiming to leverage their home advantage. UNLV, coming off a 3-0 win over Minot State in the Chicago Showcase series, poses a new challenge.

Following this series loss, Arizona now occupies the second-to-last spot in the WCHL ranking. They must perform well in upcoming series to regain momentum and steer the season in their favor.


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