Arizona Rubber

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

Lobos out to make an impact as 2017-18 ACHA campaign arrives

 

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Last season saw two unprecedented things happen for the University of New Mexico.

First, the Lobos went on a 10-0 tear and then following that up with an 0-8 record.

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UNM coach Grant Harvey is hoping for more winning streaks as the ACHA season is right around the corner.

“I have a strong outlook for this year,” Harvey said. “Both streaks taught this team a lot and we know how the winning feels and we know how a slump feels. This season, I’ve got some real wizards out there for rookies and my vets are very good at coaching them along. I have to credit my older players for innately teaching the rookies how we play and giving them a lot of time between drills.”

The Lobos have started the current season 4-0.

One freshman, forward Chance Shanks, should make an immediate impact for the Lobos, who play out of the Outpost Ice Arena in Albuquerque.

“Chance plays beyond his years in hockey,” noted Harvey. “Frankly, he is a lot stronger on his skates than many senior players in our conference.”

Once games start later this month, Harvey is banking on goaltending being the biggest component of wins and losses.

“We have four goalies in our bullpen, so to speak, and I don’t pull seniority rank for that position,” Harvey said. “Whoever is the best man for the job will be between the pipes this year. It’s too important to not coach this way when so many guys really feel like this is the year that we will push through to regionals.

“We have an absurd amount of talent this year and it’s easy to be burdened with too many guys that want the puck as well. I want to open up the season with good puck distribution and unselfish play. Long term, we want to stay out of any slumps and address our deficiencies early so that we can build. I don’t want to have the sentiment that ‘we just can’t finish’ or ‘our forecheck is always bad, so it’s fate.’ As soon as you resign yourself to being unable to fix a problem area, you become victim to it inherently.”

— Matt Mackinder

(Oct. 11, 2017)