It hasn't been an ideal season for the Arizona State Sun Devils and Head Coach Greg Powers. They have lost 13 in a row and have a 5-19 record in their first year at the Division I level.
That doesn't mean they haven't succeeded. What ASU is trying to do with their hockey program is no easy task and each one of these games has prepared them for what next season will bring. And with the tougher part of their schedule behind them, things could be looking up.
"It's hugely important [to finish the year strong]. We like how our schedule lays out, the toughest is behind us. "Coach Powers said. "We obvious have a really tough trip next weekend still. Consistently speaking, the toughest meat of our schedule is clearly behind us and we're battle tested. We've been playing at a pace and speed and against opponents that have made us a better team and I think everybody is going to see that this weekend."
This weekend the Sun Devils will host ACHA opponent Ohio for a two game series. The Bobcats are sporting a 23-4-1 record and are ranked seventh in the latest ACHA rankings.
Two players to watch out for on the Ohio side are Joey Breslin and Michael Harris, both putting up at least 30 points in the 28 games this season for Ohio.
The Sun Devils have played Ohio before, when both teams were still in the ACHA, sweeping the Bobcats in a home series at Oceanside.
For the Sun Devils, scoring more is key number one. Puck luck hasn't been on the side of Arizona State much this season, but the feeling in the locker room is that by continuing to get pucks to the net good things will start to happen.
"It's just confidence. It's tough to score at the Division I level, and we're proving that. It's that not that our kids don't have skill or their not talented. It's confidence, it's experience. It's hard on pucks, it's compete. It's just valuable experience that we're gaining every week," Coach Powers said of the struggles offensively.
Jordan Masters, who was recently nominated for the Hobey Baker Award, has been one of the only Sun Devils doing much scoring this season. In 22 NCAA games, Masters has scored eight goals and tallied 11 assists. No other forward has more than ten points total. The next highest is Joey Raats, who has 14 points as a defensemen.
These ACHA games won't count for the NCAA record books, but the Sun Devils have lost 13 in a row and are looking to gain some momentum for the end of the season. Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m. local time at Oceanside Ice Arena.