The Oklahoma Sooners hockey team hosted #2 Arizona State and #17 Arizona over the weekend. It was three days of some great ACHA hockey for hockey fans despite the Sooners going 0 for 3. Two big heart breaking losses will leave a bad in taste in Oklahoma’s mouth this coming week when they host #22 Rutgers.
An undefeated, Arizona State came to town Thursday to face the #3 Sooners. The game was being marketed as the biggest of the year for Oklahoma. That proved to be the case from the initial puck drop. The Sooners came out fast and skating strong, getting a great goal from Joe Adams early in the first period. You knew it was a big goal in a big game, judging by the on ice celebrations.
OU would hold a 1-0 lead into the third period, before Jordan Young tied it up for ASU with just 57 seconds remaining in the game. Overtime was full of great saves at both ends and just when everyone was preparing for the shootout, Colin Hekle buried one past Nick Holmes at the 10 second mark for the ASU win.
Friday & Saturday, ASU traveled up to visit the University of Central Oklahoma and took 2 more wins while in the Sooner state. The ACHA standings might start seeing some changes soon between #1 Minot State and ASU. The two teams will meet on Nov. 7th.
In what many probably thought would be two easy wins for Oklahoma, proved to be anything but. Arizona came into Friday nights game well rested after a brutal loss to UCO the night before. The Wildcats were hungry and the Sooners had something to prove. Bryce Johnson fired his team up with a power play goal in the first period. By the end of the second, OU had a 3-1 lead in the match. Arizona’s Andrew Murmes came through for his team and scored twice in the third to tie it up and send the game into overtime. Matt Nowicki buried it halfway through the OT period, with an assist from Murmes. It was the first time since 2002 the Arizona beat a ranked team (#2 Delaware).
There was nothing easy about the win for Arizona. Both teams played hard and it was a great game to watch as a fan. Each team lost 4 players due to game misconducts. Alex Jacobs, Mico Solorzano, Anthony Cullen and Cory Ramsey for Oklahoma; Tommy Bennett, Robert Wilkinson, Jeffery Wadhams and Mattheu Raiola for Arizona. Oklahoma also lost Kale Erickson in the second period, after he took a puck to the face and needed stitches. He would return to the line up for Saturday’s game.
Arizona and Oklahoma were back at it on Saturday afternoon. The first period remained scoreless, but Arizona opened the scoring with a power play goal in the second period. Oklahoma’s Bryce Johnson would get a power play goal of his own shortly after off a great shot. Arizona took the lead with :07 seconds left in the second period off a short-handed goal. Oklahoma would get two power play chances in the third period but could not get past goaltender Steven Sisler. OU tender Nick Holmes faced 58 shots on goal in the two games, Arizona’s Sisler, 72 SOG.
Current Western Collegiate Hockey League standings:
1. Arizona State (8)
2. Arizona (5)
3. University of Central Oklahoma (3)
4. Colorado State (2)
5. Oklahoma (2)
6. Universtiy of Colorado (1)
Pictures from all three games can be found at Puckchk Photos.