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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona hockey falls to Pittsburgh in the first round of the ACHA Tournament

Jay Corella
Sticks fly into the air as referees pull players apart during an Arizona hockey game against the University of Oklahoma in the Tucson Convention Center on Friday, Nov. 3. Though no fight materialized, tensions ran high between the players through the game. Arizona lost 3-2 in OT.

The No. 13 Arizona hockey team fell to the No. 20 University of Pittsburgh in a 5-2 loss, concluding the Wildcats’ season and their prospective hopes of winning the American Collegiate Hockey Association Tournament. The Wildcats had previously turned their 2023-2024 season around with hopes of building on previous victories, but they were swiftly defeated. Pitt will now move on to face the University of Jamestown in the second round of the ACHA Tournament.

Pittsburgh put Arizona down early, slamming a massive 2-goal lead over the Wildcats within the first 6 minutes of the period. Arizona had opened a power play opportunity for the Panthers to score, appearing a bit rusty after their extended hiatus. However, Arizona’s Jack Kurrle scored for the Wildcats during a power play opportunity. This marked Kurrle’s first postseason goal for the Wildcats, emphasizing his importance to a team consistently seeking to compete.

Despite the early disadvantage, the Wildcats outperformed the Panthers with 13 shots on goal over Pitt’s 12 in the first period. This trend continued in the second period, with the Wildcats shooting 18 shots on goal over Pitt’s 16. Despite the high shot count, the second period remained quiet for both sides, except for the power play opportunity given to Pitt.

The third period would be one for Arizona players and fans to forget, as Pitt added another 2 goals to create an almost insurmountable 4-1 lead. Their 2 goals came within a mere 20 seconds of each other. Despite this, Arizona’s Tyler Shetland scored in the 12th minute of the period, bringing the Wildcats a bit closer at 4-2. However, Pitt put the game to rest, securing another last-minute goal to drive the game to 5-2. Despite being outscored 2-1, Arizona still shot more towards goal with 11 shots over Pitt’s eight.

Looking ahead to next season:

With the hockey season coming to a close, people should still be extremely proud of this team and how much the players pushed themselves in the latter half of the season. They showcased a dominant run on both opponent and home ice, honing in on their scoring abilities by shooting and scoring an obscene amount of goals. The Arizona hockey team will be returning later in 2024 for their 2024-2025 season, and after a season like this one the team’s popularity is expected to continue to grow.

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