For the first time since opening weekend, the University of Arizona Wildcats (3-4) will take to the ice at the Tucson Convention Center this Friday and Saturday night.
The team’s most impressive win so far was against this weekend’s upcoming opponent, the No. 6 University of Oklahoma Sooners (5-2-2). The upset came in a 1-0 shootout victory on the road back in mid-October at Blazers Ice Center.
This time, the Wildcats will be facing the Sooners in a two-game series.
Arizona head coach Chad Berman describes Oklahoma as a very skilled team with an elite top line.
Berman preaches that it is crucial his team execute the same details from the last time they played OU.
“We were blocking shots, keeping them to the outside, clogging up the neutral zone, and back checking with a purpose.”
Entering Friday night, Berman says his players must also fight harder off the puck to make sure they are establishing inside positioning. Berman believes this type of play will lead to scoring opportunities.
Arizona forward Orion Olsen says the challenge of playing the last five games on the road helped the team grow closer.
“We already have a pretty close core group of guys who returned from last year but the road trip definitely helped the young guys to assimilate and feel more comfortable being a member of this team.”
Despite the benefits and challenges of an early road schedule, Berman and his team are excited to be back playing in front of a home crowd, which he describes is made up of the best fan base in the country.
“When they are rocking, you can see the guys feed off that energy.”
Scheduled puck drop is at 7:30 p.m. both nights.