Coming off a Christmas hiatus, No. 15 Arizona State (14-6) is set to host No. 19 Clarkson (9-6) to kick off this weekend’s Desert Hockey Classic at Gila River Arena.
The Devils are tied for the most wins in the country, and they will be opposed by a Clarkson team out of the ECAC that is currently in eighth place, but who has played a number of formidable adversaries.
The winner of Friday’s contest will advance to the Championship Game against either No. 3 Minnesota State or No. 4 Minnesota-Duluth in a heavyweight tilt.
But before anyone can look ahead to Saturday, Clarkson is first in-line. Here is a little more to know about the Golden Knights.
What time/Where to watch
ASU will drop the puck with Clarkson at approximately 7:30 p.m. local time. The game will be broadcasted and televised on the Pac-12 Networks.
If you would also like to watch the other game in the tournament, Minnesota-Duluth’s matchup with Minnesota State will be broadcasted online on the Pac-12 Live Stream. The Bulldogs and the Mavericks will square off prior to ASU’s game at 4:30 p.m. local time.
Players to Watch
Clarkson is fueled by four players with double-digit point totals. Additionally, the Golden Knights boast four players with seven points or more.
Leading the charge is junior forward Nico Sturm, who leads the team in scoring with 17 points. Right behind him is junior forward Haralds Egle, who has 16 points with nine goals and seven assists.
The players can pose problems offensively. As a whole, Clarkson is a deep team that can score from a variety of places. 21 different players have registered a point this season.
Between the Pipes
If you are a fan of stellar goaltending, then Friday’s matchup between ASU and Clarkson might be the game for you. Expect solid goalkeeping from both teams between the junior netminders of Joey Daccord and Clarkson goalie Jake Kielly.
Appearing in all of Clarkson’s 15 games, Kielly holds a 9-6 record with a 2.16 goals against average and a .922 save percentage. Kielly is in the top-25 of NCAA Division I goaltenders in both GAA and save percentage along with Daccord.
In its four year’s of existence at the Division I level, ASU has played Clarkson only twice, and it occurred during the team’s hybrid season in 2015.
The Devils played at Cheel Arena in New York, and they were swept by a final score of 3-2 on the first night, and 4-1 in game two.
What the Players/Coaches had to say about the opponent:
Coach Powers: “Great goaltending, incredibly aggressive team, hard to play against, and they have a good mix of size and skill. They are built really well. They are balanced. They are a lot like us (ASU).”
Brinson Pasichnuk: “Clarkson is going to be a really fast team with an unreal goalie. We are going to have to get bodies in front of the net and get shots.”
Regardless of how ASU does on Friday (win or lose), they will play their second game of the weekend on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. local time against either Minnesota Duluth or Minnesota State.