Tucson, AZ The University of Arizona Wildcat Hockey team officially released their 2012-2013 season schedule and it is highlighted by several marquee matchups.
“I think it is important to schedule the toughest of competition and I think we accomplished that with our schedule this year. In our opinion it is one of the toughest schedules in recent years for our program and one of the tougher schedules in our league,” commented head coach Sean Hogan. “For us to have success we need to play the elite teams in the ACHA and we have scheduled accordingly.”
Arizona has slated 28 of their 38 games against ACHA Division I opponents that finished ranked in the top 15 last season. The Wildcats will open on the road for an entire month starting against Northern Arizona University on Friday September 21st and Saturday September 22nd. The Wildcats will then travel through a gauntlet of top ACHA programs as they visit ASU for the weekend of September 28th and 29th, and then travel to two historic ACHA facilities, the UofI Ice Arena at the University of Illinois and then visit Bird Arena at Ohio University.
“That portion of our schedule will test us early on, it will take a great effort every night to get wins in those buildings,” stated Hogan.
Fans will be excited to see that there will be four home games against archrival and ACHA powerhouse Arizona State University. The Wildcats will take on the Sun Devils at home on Friday November 2nd and Saturday November 3rd, the weekend will also be Arizona Hockey Alumni Weekend. “We are very excited that we have such great alumni support. Last year was a great success and we hope to see even more alums this year,” said Hogan. The Wildcats will again host the Sun Devils on Friday February 22nd and Saturday February 23rd.
The Wildcat home opener will be against an original ACHA foe in Eastern Michigan University on Friday October 26th and Saturday October 27th. A unique and exciting home weekend will take place when Oakland University comes to town on November 9th and 10th. Not only did the Grizzlies finish as ACHA National Tournament Runner-Ups last season, they were also once coached by Sean Hogan to two ACHA National Championships. Oakland University is currently coached by Jeremy Bachusz, an assistant coach on Hogan’s staff during his time at OU. Hogan and Bachusz remain good friends to this day.
Other home high light matchups will be when Liberty, Oklahoma, Central Oklahoma and Minot State come to town. All four teams have been perennial ACHA National Tournament teams and will provide stiff tests for the Wildcats down the stretch. Long time ACHA Division II foe San Diego State will also make a visit to the TCC on November 30th and December 1st. The Aztecs are coached by former UA Hockey net minder Dennis Hands.
A new comer will also appear on the Wildcat home docket when Williston State College comes to Tucson for a single game on Thursday January 3rd. The Tetons defeated the Wildcats last season in Williston, ND.
Wildcat forward Brian Slugocki added about the schedule, “I’m looking forward to this season’s schedule. It has us playing top 25 teams all season long and as a team we are very excited about that. It’s a tough schedule but if the ACHA National Tournament is our goal, and it is, you have to beat the best. I feel confident that this year we will have the right guys to reach our goals."
Season ticket information and single game ticket information will be made available shortly.