Garrett Patrick is a goalie recruit who comes from Hudson, WI. The last team he played on was the Austin Bruins (NAHL), where he met Wildcat forward Mike Adamowicz.
“I talked to [Adamowicz] about Arizona and how he liked it. He said he loved it there so I decided to fly out with my father for a visit. I talked to the coach when I got there and he said they were looking for a goalie and they were interested in having me play there. After watching one game my mind was set and I told the coach I was coming to play in Arizona,” Patrick said. His decision to become a Wildcat was finalized once he experienced the exciting game day atmosphere at the Tucson Convention Center. “The community was so intense and supportive of the team. I knew after that Arizona was the right place for me.”
Patrick is a Physiology major who enjoys being outdoors. He likes fishing, hunting, and boating. His favorite hobby is photography. He hopes to play professional hockey in Europe or Asia, as he’d get to incorporate both travel and hockey into an ideal career.
“Garrett is another player with tremendous academics, showing us he has a great work ethic. His size and ability in net will definitely push our two returning goalies for playing time,” stated head coach Sean Hogan.
Zach Morgan is a new recruit for the Wildcats, originally from Brighton, Michigan. He plays center, but is able to play wing as well.
Morgan knew that he wanted to go to school in Arizona. He was contacted by the University of Arizona, and could tell that the school was the right fit for him. “Arizona always seemed like a really cool place to live and when I heard they were interested for me in hockey I got really excited. After I visited for orientation, I knew that I wanted to commit there,” Morgan added.
“As a freshman, I hope to make some new friends on the team, get some points, and further improve myself as a hockey player and student,” stated Morgan.
Morgan’s favorite hockey memory is winning back-to-back state championships with his high school team during his junior and senior years.
“Zach is our youngest player in the class, and he was a proven winner as a member of the MHSAA State Champion Brighton Bulldogs (MI). He has a good upside and all his coaches praise his work ethic. He should be a good fit for Wildcat Hockey,” commented head coach Sean Hogan.
Zach will be a Business major at The University of Arizona. After college, he hopes to hold a marketing or advertising position. During his spare time, Zach enjoys being with friends and watching Netflix.
Mattheu Raiola is a defenseman recruit from Scottsdale, Arizona. He last played for the Granite City Lumberjacks in the NA3HL.
A former teammate of Wildcats David Rizk and Michael Ferreira, Raiola was recruited by St. Olaf in Minnesota. “Unforeseen circumstance brought me back home to AZ and ultimately to U of A,” he commented.
Raiola said the thought of playing for the Wildcats had always been on his mind. “Michael [Ferreira] encouraged me to contact Coach Hogan and let him know I was interested in coming to school here. I also had great support from Coach Goldsworthy [of St. Olaf] who reached out to coach Hogan to give him his opinion and scouting reports on me. “
In addition to making a national tournament and defeating ASU, Raiola hopes to become one of the top 6 defenseman this year. Mattheu’s favorite hockey memories have included winning the Arizona State High School State Championship (with Notre Dame Prep) and the National Tier3 Championship (with Granite City). “But the single greatest memory,” he adds, “[was] attending St. Thomas Academy and winning the prestigious and possibly the largest state high school championship event in 2011.”
Raiola will be majoring in Pre-Business at the University of Arizona. He hopes to obtain a career in Sports Management. In his spare time, Mattheu enjoys fishing and playing golf.
“Matt was a late addition to our recruiting class, as he was originally committed to an NCAA school. We were excited when he contacted us late about possibly attending and competing for UA. Matt is a smooth-skating defenseman that can also help out on the offensive end. We are excited to add him to our roster,” stated head coach Sean Hogan.
Article by Natalie Hannah
Rob Wilkinson is a native of West Vancouver, BC, Canada, who last played for the Weyburn Redwings of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL). Wilkinson usually plays wing, but will be an asset, as he can also play forward or defense.
Wilkinson was in contact with the Wildcat hockey program through his hockey advisor and decided to make the move. “[The] University of Arizona is a great school and has a hockey program with a history. This was a huge reason to why I wanted to come to the school and play for the hockey program,” he noted.
Wilkinson hopes to help the team get into the national tournament. He also wants to end the Wildcat’s losing streak against in-state rival, Arizona State.
When asked what his favorite hockey memory was, Wilkinson responded, “when my Major Midget team, the Northwest Giants won the Macs Midget Tournament in Calgary and in the same season won the Provincial Title.”
Rob is a pre-business student who likes to work out and listen to music in his spare time. He aspires to play hockey at the pro level and to have a job in the business world.
“Rob was a late addition to the recruiting class from the Weyburn Red Wings in the SJHL. He will play a physical game on the forecheck, win puck battles and raise our compete level here. I am excited to add him to our team,” stated head coach Sean Hogan.
Article by Natalie Hannah
Wil (William) Pointon is a native of Pickering, Ontario, Canada, but is relocating to the desert of Tucson, AZ to play for the Wildcat hockey team. Pointon last played as left defense for the Hamilton Jr Red Wings (OJHL). He was traded to the Pickering Panthers to finish out the year.
For Pointon, the recruiting process involved many phone calls and e-mails to determine which team was the best fit for him. The University of Arizona contacted Wil through his athletic advisor.
“I had a good idea that I wanted to play hockey in Arizona when I first heard that the U of A was interested in me. Once I visited the school and met Coach Hogan I was absolutely sure that I wanted to play as a Wildcat,” Pointon commented.
When asked about his favorite hockey memory, Pointon answered, “when I played for the Ajax/Pickering Raiders AAA team and we won the All Ontario Championships on my 10th birthday.”
“Wil is a defenseman with good skill and a good shot. He has played junior hockey at a high level and should be able to step in right away for us. He will provide a bit of a physical side as well on our blue line,” stated head coach Sean Hogan.
Pointon adds, “Coming into the University as a Freshman I definitely want to perform at my highest ability and improve all year. My ultimate goal is to be a major contributor and to help lead the Wildcats to a championship.”
Pointon will be studying business at The University of Arizona. In his free time, Wil enjoys playing acoustic guitar and being on the water at his cottage.
Article by Natalie Hannah
Alex O’Dea is a new recruit from Lake Orion, Michigan. He last played for the South Shore Kings, in the EJHL, as a left wing and center. O’Dea’s decision to come to the University of Arizona took some time to make. He was contacted by Coach Hogan and the recruiting process went from there. “I have known Coach Hogan for around four years now, and he was a big factor when making the decision to play for the Wildcats,” O’Dea said. Alex said he knew he wanted to play for the Wildcats after he visited the school and facilities.
O’Dea’s favorite hockey memory was winning the league championship in the Central Canadian Hockey League. He hopes to contribute to the Wildcat team and compete for a national championship.
O’Dea is a Pre-Med major, focusing on Biology. Once his hockey career comes to an end, he hopes to become a doctor. In his spare time, Alex likes to spend time with his friends and be outdoors. He enjoys boating, tubing, wake boarding, and rock climbing.
“Alex played for me in Yellowstone and has a tremendous work ethic. He has good size and speed and should be able to fit in our offense well. He is also a great student academically and we look for that when we recruit student athletes, it is a sign of great time management skills,” stated head coach Sean Hogan.
Article by Natalie Hannah
Alex Vazquez comes to us from Shelby Township, MI. He is a defenseman who previously played for the New Jersey Hitmen.
His choice to join the Wildcats was after a long recruiting process. Vazquez played for Coach Hogan in 2009-2010 with the Yellowstone Quake in Cody, WY. Vazquez went on several NCAA recruiting trips before deciding that Arizona was the place he wanted to be. He hopes to assist the Wildcats in winning a National Championship. His favorite hockey memory was “playing for a USA Select team, traveling to Europe, and competing against several countries for a full summer.”
Vazquez will be majoring in Political Science. In his free time he enjoys being active, specifically playing golf and basketball. His ultimate career goal is to play professional hockey after school.
Coach Hogan commented, “Vazquez has great size and plays a very physical game which we like. Vazzy played for me in Yellowstone as well and has really grown as a player over the last few years. We look for players with Championship experience and he has that as his New Jersey Hitmen won the EJHL championship this year.”
Article by Natalie Hannah
Nicholson, a left wing originally from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, is a part of Coach Hogan’s second recruiting class as head coach of the Wildcats. He last played for the Cowichan Valley Capitals, but was in contact with Coach Hogan last winter with an interest in joining the Wildcat hockey program.
When asked how the recruiting process was for him, Nicholson commented, “On the last day applications [were] accepted I applied. Mr. Hogan and I then talked for a few weeks on the details. Then I got accepted into the University in the middle of May and decided about a week later to go.”
As I mentioned in my article on recruiting, sometimes hockey players can act as recruiters for their own team. Nicholson said he heard about the Wildcat hockey program through Kyle Ambrosie, a Wildcat defenseman, who was an old roommate of Nicholson’s during junior hockey.
Nicholson’s favorite hockey memory is winning the National Junior A Championship in Canada. He hopes to win another National Championship as a Wildcat.
In his free time, Nicholson enjoys playing golf, basketball, and tennis. He is majoring in Business and aspires to be successful in the oil and gas field.
“We were excited that Grant committed to the U of A. He played in arguably the top Junior A league in Canada for two seasons and put up good numbers. He should be able to provide some scoring punch for us and contribute in all three zones,” stated Head Coach Sean Hogan.