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ASU Hockey: Cactus Cup Finale Preview

The seniors are playing in their final regular season weekend as Sun Devils and they have never lost to the Wildcats.

Photo: Allyson Cummings

Lets keep this short and sweet for you guys. The Sun Devils have a chance to win four straight years against the Arizona Wildcats.

Despite a 30 game winning streak against their cross state rivals, No.2 Arizona State is focused on staying healthy and getting momentum for Nationals while Arizona is treating this final home stand like it's the National Tournament.

Last weekend, ASU kept up with Minot St. but injuries hurt their chances of getting a win. Five skaters and starting goaltender Joe D'Elia did not play in North Dakota. According to head coach Greg Powers, captain Colin Hekle and defenseman Jordan Young could play this weekend but he is going to sit them out for precautionary reasons against the Wildcats.

Fun fact of the weekend is that junior forward Kale Dolinski will be playing in his 100th career game as a Sun Devil. Dolisnki is currently leading the team with 30 goals and is second on the team with 53 points. His 30 tallies are good to tie him for eight best in the ACHA.

With a relatively healthy line-up, coach Powers will bring a few division two player with him on the trip in case he decides to rest a lot of players on Saturday night, but he is not planning to.

There is arguably no sweeter feeling than beating the Wildcats, but Arizona State would not mind ending the winning steak this weekend if it meant staying healthy and competing in Chicago.

The senior class is playing in its final games of the regular season and Tucson is quite the environment to go out with considering they have never lost there.

Arizona self imploded to close out the season. University of Arizona was outscored 16-4 in the final weekend of games before the ACHA selection show. The red and blue needed to beat Williston State or take one of two games against Minot. State to play in opening round of Nationals. Instead, Rutgers will play Navy for a chance to take on the Sun Devils in the second round.

The only threat to the Sun Devils this weekend is the Wildcats top line, especially Andrew Murmes who had three points against ASU in early February.

Arizona State is going to do its best to sweep this weekend, but if it gets too chippy in Tucson on Friday night, do not be surprised if coach Powers sits a lot of his top performers because it is not worth the risk.

As sweet as 32 wins may be for the Sun Devil team and its fans, its understandable that ASU would rather play it safe and worry about winning four games in five days.

It's a relay race that Powers and company are taking one game at a time. The puck is set to drop at 7:30 p.m. both nights.