ASU Hockey: Sun Devils head to Pittsburgh for Three Rivers Classic

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 09: Arizona State Sun Devils mascot Sparky the Sun Devil performs during the team's quarterfinal game of the Pac-12 Basketball Tournament against the Oregon Ducks T-Mobile Arena on March 9, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Oregon won 80-57. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 09: Arizona State Sun Devils mascot Sparky the Sun Devil performs during the team's quarterfinal game of the Pac-12 Basketball Tournament against the Oregon Ducks T-Mobile Arena on March 9, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Oregon won 80-57. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /
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ASU hockey travels east for the sixth annual Three Rivers Classic in Pittsburgh, Pa. joining No. 11 Providence, Robert Morris and Lake Superior State.

The Three Rivers Classic is a two-day Division I tournament held at PPG Paints Arena, home of NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins. Robert Morris University will host Providence and Lake Superior State along with ASU.

Robert Morris attempts to defend back-to-back Three Rivers Classic titles. The three visiting programs are making their first appearance in the tournament.

ASU (4-10-4) takes on No. 11 Providence (10-7-1) to begin the tournament at 2:30 p.m. MT Friday. It will be the first-ever meeting between the two programs.

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“This is another great opportunity to play a top program like Providence, who we haven’t been fortunate enough to play yet,” ASU coach Greg Powers said. “We will have to be very good to have a chance to win against a very deep and talented Providence team.”

The Sun Devils have been off for two weeks since their last series against Colorado College. ASU fell 4-0 in the first game and tied 4-4 in the second.

Now, ASU gets to take a swing at a top-20 opponent. The 11th-ranked Friars are loaded with eight NHL draft picks despite freshman Jake Ryczek recently left the program to pursue other opportunities. Providence won the 2015 NCAA Championship under head coach Nate Leaman, its first in program history.

Providence is led by junior forward Erik Foley. The Winnipeg Jets’ draft pick has a team-best 10 goals and 11 assists.

The Friars sit third overall at 6-4-1 in the Hockey East conference. They have beaten three ranked teams so far this season.

Sophomore forward Brett Gruber is pacing the Sun Devils with 13 points. Gruber has four goals and his nine assists are a team best. Sophomore Tyler Busch is right behind with 11 points (6-5-11).

In goal, Ottawa Senators draft pick Joey Daccord has posted a 3.26 goals against average and .911 save percentage in 17 starts for ASU.

RMU will play against Lake Superior State for the night game on Friday at 5:30 p.m. MT. The winners of the two contests meet in the championship for the Confluence Cup the following evening at 5:30 p.m. MT, with the consolation game played at 2:30 p.m MT.