The Arizona Wildcats will open up their 2016-17 campaign on the road against the Northern Arizona Ice Jacks Friday night in Flagstaff. Head coach Chad Berman is entering his third year at the helm of this Wildcats team and is looking to build upon a team last season that exceeded expectations. The Wildcats are coming off a season a year ago in which they won their first ACHA Division I National Tournament game in 13 years. Despite being down at three different points in the game, UA managed to knock off Western Michigan 5-4 in the first round, but fell in the round of 16 to Minot State who was the No. 1 seed in the tournament. After getting off to a slow start, the Wildcats earned themselves a postseason bid after a strong performance during the second semester that included wins over top-10 opponents Ohio (No. 7) and Colorado (No. 8). The Wildcats also opened up last season against NAU, however it was at the Tucson Convention Center, where they defeated the Ice Jacks twice in a row by the score of 4-3 and 4-0. The Wildcats also played NAU in October in Flagstaff but fell 1-0. UA finished the season with a record of 10-17-4. For the second straight year, Dylan Carter will be the team captain while Orien Olsen, Anthony Rosetta and Alex O'Dea will serve as assistant captains.
The Ice Jacks, who play in the ACHA Division II, are coming off a season in which they 15-14-2 and finished in 11th place in the Western division. The Ice Jacks are delighted to see three of their top four point leaders from last season on this year’s roster. The leader, forward Corey Briody, finished with 35 points last season with 13 goals and a team-leading 22 assists. Not far behind Briody was Lucas Lomax, a forward who led the team with 15 goals while also tallying 15 assists as well. Finishing fourth in points a year ago was Chris Barrett who notched 24 points on eight goals and 16 assists.
Game time is set for 8:30 p.m.