Last weekend the UA Hockey team flew into Oklahoma and played a nearly-perfect defensive game against a top 10 opponent! The Wildcats were able to limit Oklahoma, an offensive juggernaut, to 24 shots on goal. The game was tightly contested through three periods, with neither team able to put one on the board, eventually leading to overtime. During overtime the Wildcats survived a full 2 minute penalty kill. “Our penalty kill has been a weapon for us,” said Coach Berman. “We have been operating at about 93% on the PK, which is unheard of, especially this early in the season.” The game went into a shootout and the Wildcats were able to claw back and tie it up with a beautiful goal by Brian “Toppie” Hogan. Matthew Armenti, the new transfer-defensemen from Rhode Island University, was able to bang home the game winning goal, emptying the Wildcats bench for a huge early season victory!
Then next two days, the Wildcats were humbled against the defending National Champions, #9 University of Central Oklahoma, where the Wildcats struggled with UCO’s size and speed. “I was particularly disappointed with our effort on Friday night,” said Coach Berman. “We didn’t play with nearly the same compete level or attention to detail that we displayed the night before. If you give a team of that caliber time-and-space they will make you pay, and that’s exactly what happened.” Saturday’s game was a difficult matchup, with the Wildcats playing their 3rd game in 3 days and UCO only playing their 2nd game in 2 days, which lead to sloppiness in all three zones and major mental breakdowns on special teams.
As a young, up and-coming-team, the Wildcats will have to learn from this experience as they welcome what will be undoubtedly be a team out for revenge, as they host #9 University of Oklahoma at the Tucson Convention Center, on October 30 and 31.