Arizona Hockey Ops Out of Play for Spring 2021
For the past twelve years, the Arizona Wildcat Hockey Team, or “Ice Cats” as they are still fondly referred to, has been a staple of Tucson and the surrounding communities. Each winter, friends and locals are treated to the sights and sounds of high-level collegiate hockey at the Tucson Convention Center. With the excitement of goals and the cheering from dedicated fans and students, Wildcat Hockey has always provided a quality, affordable, family-friendly event for southern Arizona. But that’s not happening this spring.
Arizona Wildcat Hockey is sorry to announce the spring season will not take place as planned. Instead, the team is making preparations to get back on the ice this fall for the regular 2021-2022 season.
“COVID really impacted club sports in general all throughout the country, not just here in Tucson,” stated Troy Vaughn, Director of Campus Recreation for the University of Arizona.
Wildcat Hockey has decided not to play any games in Spring 2021. While the ACHA Nationals are still being discussed, administrative protocols about COVID testing, qualifying difficulties, and the cancellation of several seasons from WCHL teams, have made it very difficult to field adequate teams for a season of play. This spring season, though, was not canceled because of a lack of effort. Many university employees, administrators, players, and staff worked long and hard since the onset of COVID in March 2020 to try and make this season a reality.
“It just became too difficult to make it work with struggles to secure opposing teams, travel expenses, and the mandated testing. I am so proud of Coach Berman, Coordinator Tanner Harris, and the members of the team who have worked tirelessly to try and make this happen. In the end, we just ran out of time,” shared Vaughn.
Despite all this, recruiting has gone well for Arizona. While the team will lose some great Wildcats to graduation this spring, it will be exciting to see many coming back in the fall for the new season. Not to mention, the team is anxiously awaiting the return of fans to the TCC to cheer them on!
Even without the ice time, the Arizona Wildcat Hockey team will not disappear. Team updates will continue throughout the spring and summer, with Coach Berman working hard to make the incoming group of Wildcats some of the best ever.
“Be on the lookout for some great things coming from Arizona. A fundraising campaign and increased media coverage are just two such events on the horizon for Wildcat Hockey,” stated Vaughn.
For more information on Arizona Wildcat Hockey, visit https://www.arizonawildcathockey.org/