Following a split series with Princeton, ASU hockey prepares for this weekend when they begin a two-game series with the Colorado College Tigers.
Arizona State (4-9-3) looks to build upon their most recent overtime win when they square off against Colorado College (7-7-2) in the first ever meeting between the two schools.
Each team is coming into this two-game set on a high note. While Arizona State is coming off of an impressive overtime win, Colorado College enters the weekend after tying the second-ranked Denver Pioneers in back-to-back games.
When asked to give a quick scouting report on the team’s upcoming opponent, head coach Greg Powers said, “They’re quick, they play on big ice, [and] they transition well. It’s going to be fun.”
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The rink should be a major factor this weekend, as Colorado College’s ice spans 200 feet in length and 100 feet in width. In contrast, the rink at Oceanside Ice Arena allows for a playing surface that is 200 feet long and 85 feet wide.
The larger rink should allow for a more open game, which coach Powers believes can help the Sun Devils because of how the team handled a larger playing surface last year.
“We tend to, for whatever reason, we’ve always played really well on big ice – New Hampshire, UMass – so our guys are comfortable on big ice,” Powers said at practice. History appears to be on the Sun Devils side, as the team went 3-0 in games on “big ice” while netting 13 goals.
A couple of players to watch out for are the Tigers’ high scoring duo of Nick Halloran and Mason Bergh. While Halloran has more points on the season, Bergh has the more lethal shot so far with a team-leading 10 goals.
Although the Sun Devils do not have the prolific scorers to match Colorado College, coach Powers is confident in his team’s depth.
“We’re really balanced. We don’t have any superstars. We’re a balanced team…on any given day, the fifth line might be our best line,” Powers said.
Depth can often play a beneficial role over the course of a series as players become fatigued. Nonetheless, Arizona State will look to Tyler Busch or Ben Gruber to make plays offensively.
In the past five games, Busch has netted three goals and dished out three assists. In that same span, Gruber has posted five points of his own in the form of two goals and three assists.
Be sure to catch the Sun Devils as they take on the Tigers on the road. The series kicks off at 6 p.m. MT Saturday and it concludes Sunday when the puck drops at 2 p.m. MT.
All quotes in this article were obtained firsthand by Devils in Detail unless otherwise noted.