Hockey Club handled by Arizona’s D1 squad

Photo by Wesley Beights, Staff Photographer.

Photo by Wesley Beights, Staff Photographer.

by Rafael Avitabile

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The San Diego State Hockey Club was swept by the University of Arizona’s DI team in a two-game series this past weekend. The Aztecs went on the road hoping to play the spoiler role, but injuries and illnesses hampered an already depleted bench, denying any chances of an upset.

Although Friday night’s game ended with a lopsided score of 9-3, the Hockey Club can feel good about the fact that they presented a superior team with a challenge. The Aztecs fought to the end, keeping the third period deficit to 2-1, which is a very good sign considering their season long third period struggles. After Friday’s hard fought contest, the shorthanded Aztecs just didn’t have the legs to keep up with the high powered Wildcats, falling 8-0 in game two.

Senior forward Eric Stelnick, the Aztecs’ third leading scorer, sat out due to food poisoning and junior defenseman John Riley, the Aztecs’ second leading scorer, was nursing a left knee injury suffered last weekend against SJSU and was unable to play at a high level.

After losing two players during winter break, the hockey club has been forced to make several adjustments to their playing style. Having now lost eight of their last nine games, and a modest record of 10-8 in the ACHA West, the Aztecs are fighting to stay in the playoff picture.

[quote]“We’re working on our D zone, and playing harder not smarter,” Head coach Chris Migliore said. “Obviously it’s a tough task. It’s desperation time for us and the kids know it. It’s an uphill battle, but we have confidence in the locker room.”[/quote]

SDSU will prepare for a two-game home series next weekend against the top-ranked Arizona State Sun Devils. The Aztecs haven’t won at the Kroc Center since October. With four games left in the season against divisional opponents, the hockey club desperately needs to reverse its current losing trend and earn a trip to the Regional Tournament.

 

Photo by Wesley Beights, Staff Photographer.

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