It’s another weekend on the road as No. 17 Arizona State (16-9-1) ventures out to the New England area to take on Boston University (9-9-3) at Agganis Arena.
The Terriers boast 12 NHL draft picks. Although Boston’s overall record might not stand out on paper, that’s no reason to take them lightly. BU is red hot as of late, going 5-1-1 in their last seven games. Additionally, the Terriers are 8-5-2 in the Hockey East Conference, good enough for third place behind No. 8 Northeastern and No. 2 Umass.
BU always seems to play its best hockey at this time of year, and it seems like an oddity whenever they are not in the discussion for the NCAA Tournament. Mix in all the factors listed above, and ASU should have its hands full going into a big two-game series.
What Time/Where to Watch
Friday’s game against BU drops the puck at 5:30 p.m. local time. Saturday’s puck drop is at 5 p.m. local time. Both games can be streamed online for free on WatchStadium, which is a digital television sports network that will be airing both games. Additionally, the games can be heard on the radio on Boston’s local broadcast.
Players to Watch
Boston’s roster is full of high-end skill and talent, especially in the offensive zone. Up front, they are led by freshman forward Joel Farabee and senior forward Bobo Carpenter, who are two of the top-three point-scorers for the Terriers.
As a whole, BU has seven players with double-figure point totals, and they can hurt teams from a variety of areas, including from the blue line. Boston’s leading scorer is junior defenseman Dante Fabbro. He has 20 points, and Fabbro was a 2016 first round selection of the Nashville Predators. He was selected 17th overall, and is one of three Preds draft selections on BU.
Between the Pipes
Just add another solid netminder to the list of talented goalies that ASU has faced this season. This time, they will be opposed by a 6-foot-4, 212-pound presence in BU junior goaltender Jake Oettinger. Oettinger was a 2017 first round selection from the Dallas Stars, and he was picked 26th overall.
This season, Oettinger has hauled the majority of the workload for Boston, starting in 20 games with a 2.59 goals against average and a .923 save percentage.
The only other times these two programs have met occurred last season when Boston came to Arizona. ASU is 0-2 all-time. The Devils were dealt an 8-0 blowout loss at Gila River Arena before returning to Tempe to sustain a 4-3 loss in a game that was sold out at Oceanside Ice Arena.
What the Coaches/Players had to say about the opponent:
Coach Powers: “They are a tremendous hockey team, we know that. They have been all year, but now they are playing their best hockey. Like we told our guys, it doesn’t matter who we play when we are not committed to playing fast and hard and heavy and physical. We are not going to beat anybody, let alone a team that is as good as them. It’s going to be a good test for us to go in and play a team that is peaking as they approach their playoffs in Hockey East, and we’ll see how we can fare.”
PJ Marrocco: “They are a great team. I think half of their team is draft picks like BC (Boston College). They are going to be a skilled, fast-paced team. If we work hard like the good old saying says, ‘If you work hard, you will beat skill.’ So, that’s been our game all year...They are going to be good, but we are a good team. No one is going to take us lightly anymore, and I am hoping for a big sweep.”
In case you haven’t already heard, ASU sophomore forward Johnny Walker and junior goaltender Joey Daccord were recently named finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, which goes to college hockey’s top player.
Daccord leads the nation in shutouts and wins, and Walker leads the country in goals with 19.
Lastly, ASU added another commitment last Sunday as BCHL forward Jackson Niedermayer, who is the son of former Anaheim Ducks defenseman and Stanley Cup Champion Scott Niedermayer, committed to the Sun Devils.