After losing both games versus Penn State last weekend, ASU hockey is back on the road as they face an experienced Holy Cross team.
The Sun Devils look to build on a solid game last Saturday against Penn State as they travel to Worcester, Massachusetts to square off against Holy Cross.
Arizona State (2-8-2) will lean on their physical play and solid goaltending in order to top a very talented Holy Cross (5-3-5) team. Both areas improved greatly over a weekend series with Penn State, and should provide trouble for the Crusaders.
The goaltending matchup will be the highlight of this series, as both schools enter the two-game series with gifted netminders.
The Sun Devils will rely on sophomore goaltender Joey Daccord, who may be the team’s best player at this point in the season. As head coach Greg Powers said last week, “All you can ask as a new program is [for] your goalie to give you a chance to win every night.”
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Daccord has done just that, as he consistently battles through high shot totals from his opponents. Although many goalies would crack, he boasts a fairly high save percentage of .914, which is ranked 27th in the nation.
Unfortunately, the volume of shots Daccord faces leads to his somewhat bloated goals against average of 3.17.
Standing between the pipes for Holy Cross is Paul Berrafato, one of the nation’s top goaltenders. Berrafato heads into the series with a .929 save percentage and a 2.24 goals against average.
The senior’s totals are good for the seventh highest save percentage and the 15th lowest GAA nationally.
Fans should not let the goalie matchup distract them from the potential for offense this weekend Each team has skilled forwards up front as well.
The Sun Devils’ second line center Brett Gruber will look to increase his season point of seven, which is tied for the team lead, in Worcester. Gruber’s line, which includes wingers Johnny Walker and Dominic Garcia, was the only line to find consistent opportunities against Penn State last weekend.
Meanwhile, Arizona State will need to find a way to prevent one of the nation’s most lethal goal scorers from doing what he does best.
Senior forward Scott Pooley has had a career year in 2017, as he’s found it easy to find twine in the young campaign. He currently sits at second in the nation with 12 goals in just 13 games.
In addition to individual players, the weekend matchups feature a young Arizona State team seeking to overcome Holy Cross’s experience in what should be an interesting battle.