Arizona Rubber

Arizona’s and New Mexico’s Authoritative Voice of Ice and Inline Hockey

IceJacks finding positives in early season, home games on tap

 

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The Northern Arizona University Division II team went on a season-opening road trip to start off the 2018-19 season, and while the 1-2-1 record wasn’t what the IceJacks hoped to bring home to Flagstaff, there are many positives the team can continue to build upon.

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“Yeah, definitely not the outcome and end results of the games that we wanted to see, but overall, I think we saw a lot of good things that weekend, especially on the defensive end with an almost completely new ‘D’ core,” said NAU coach Travis Johanson. “Getting those guys in and them having experience playing some of the better competition in the West right off the bat, we saw good things out of them and the rest of the team.

“It was a tough schedule, travel, opponents and jumping in with both feet with no warmup game and having to play a team that was on their sixth game and it being our first of the year, but like I said, we saw good things.”

Moving forward, the IceJacks will come home to Jay Lively Arena for in-state rivalry games against Grand Canyon University and Arizona State.

“It will be great to get home and play in front of our fans,” said Johanson. “We are pushing to have a complete all-around game on both sides of the puck, but our biggest strength would have to be the 11 returning forwards this season. I don’t think we will have any problems in the ‘O’ zone with that group, but the game starts in the ‘D’ zone and we will rely on that group to make sure that they are focusing on being defensively strong first and foremost.”

— Matt Mackinder

(Oct. 25, 2018)