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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


No. 13 Arizona hockey is set to face No. 20 Pittsburgh in ACHA Men’s Division 1 Tournament

Nathanial Stenchever
An Arizona hockey player takes a shot in a game agiant rival ASU on Feb. 24, 2023 in the Tucson Conversation Center. The Wildcat hockey team won 1-0.

The No.13 Arizona hockey team (15-15) is traveling to St. Louis to compete in the American Collegiate Hockey Association Men’s Division 1 Tournament. They will face No. 20 University of Pittsburgh (19-15) on Thursday, March 7, at 10:45 a.m.

The Wildcats are coming off a massive hot streak, with four wins in their last five games of the season. Arizona will face Pitt in the Maryville University Hockey Center, an arena they had won at the last time they ventured there.

Keys to success:

In three of their last four wins, the Wildcats were either down by a goal or tied before eventually winning their games. This showcases Arizona’s ability to fight its way back into games even while down. This fact was seen in its overtime win against Maryville and third-period comeback against Missouri State University.

Pittsburgh has three wins in its last five games; they lost against Oswego State University and to the University of Rhode Island in the Eastern States Collegiate Hockey League Playoff Semifinals. Both games saw Pitt get pushed down, enough so that they never led either game. Within those three wins, Pitt has been a mixed bag of performances. The Panthers shut out Oswego 5-0 and completed two last-minute comebacks against Rhode Island. In two of those wins, Pitt was the first to score, a level that they could ride the remainder of the game. In this upcoming game Arizona is going to need to apply pressure early on and prevent any early chances for Pitt to get going in order to position themselves in the best position to come out victorious.

Arizona, however, might be a little rusty in this upcoming match, having not played a non-exhibition game in almost three weeks. Compared to Pitt, who played its last game a little under two weeks ago. Both teams haven’t seen the ice in a while, but both teams will surely be ready to put everything they have out there on the ice in order to advance in the tournament.

Wildcats to watch:

The most electric Wildcat to look forward to is Tyler Shetland. Shetland has been at the top of his game recently, being the most impactful Wildcat on the ice. He has either scored or assisted in nine of his last 10 games. Now more impressively, Shetland has scored in all of his last six games. He is turning the heat on at a crucial time for the Wildcats, as they are seeking to make a deep run in the ACHA Tournament.

Jesse Lowell has also proven his importance to the team throughout the season in both scoring and assisting; however, in his last three games, he has assisted on two goals in each outing. He is becoming an even better puck distributor to bring the whole team together and score. Two other key Wildcats are Jack Kurrle and Sam Myers. Kurrle joined the team for the latter half of the 2023-2024 season in the January matchup against Maryville. Since then, he has proven himself to be a key contributor, scoring 9 points (four goals, five assists) in his 12 games played. Myers has been a constant force for the Wildcats either scoring or assisting in seven of his last 10 matches played.

Looking ahead:

The outcome of the matchup determines the fate of the Wildcat’s remaining 2023-2024 season. With the win, the Wildcats would advance to play No. 4 University of Jamestown. Jamestown recently won its division, the Midwest College Hockey, and faced No.1 Minot State University, in which they lost both games of the matchup. Whatever the outcome is against Pitt, the Wildcats have surely had a tremendous season and carry quite a lot ahead for fans to be excited about.

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