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ASU Hockey: Boston College Preview

BC enters the Valley of the Sun this weekend

Richard Martinez/House of Sparky

Fresh off a tie against No. 3 Minnesota State in the Desert Hockey Classic, No. 15 Arizona State (14-7-1) is back to the ice this weekend as they host Boston College (6-7-2) for a two-game series.

Friday’s matchup between the teams will be played at Oceanside Arena in Tempe. Saturday’s game is back out in Glendale at Gila River Arena.

Boston College, who went 20-14-3 last season, but missed the NCAA tournament, has fallen upon somewhat of a slow start this season. The Eagles are one game under .500, although there is a silver lining.

They are 6-1 in conference play in the Hockey East Conference. Additionally, road trips have not served BC well. They are 2-5 away from the Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill. The Eagles received eight votes in the last USCHO top-20 poll.

BC is looking to turn up the dial and get on a run after sustaining a 4-0 loss against No. 6 Notre Dame on New Year’s Eve. Here’s some more things to know about the games with ASU.

What Time/Where to Watch

Friday’s game in Tempe begins at 7:05 p.m. local time. Saturday’s puck drop is set for five minutes earlier at 7:00 p.m. local time.

On Friday, the game can be viewed on the Pac-12 Live Stream, and Saturday’s matchup is going to be televised on the Pac-12 Network.

Players to Watch

Boston College has a top-heavy scoring sheet and top line, and they are led by two NHL draft picks in junior forward David Cotton and sophomore forward Logan Hutsko.

Centering the two wingers is junior forward Julius Mattila. As a trio, the group has accounted for 44 points this season.

Cotton was a sixth round selection of the Carolina Hurricanes in 2015, and Hutsko was a third round selection of the Florida Panthers in 2018. The two first line forwards are two of 11 players who have been drafted on the Eagles.

Between the Pipes

Another one of those 11 draft picks for BC is in goal with 2016 Toronto Maple Leafs third round selection Joseph Woll.

Woll has started in 14 out of 15 games in net for BC this year, and expect to see the 6-foot-4 presence in goal for both games. Woll holds a .929 save percentage and a 2.06 goals against average entering this weekend. Add yet another solid goaltender to the list of good goalies that ASU has faced this season.

Series History

ASU has played Boston College just one other time in the school’s four-year history. It occurred in 2016 back east in Massachusetts. At the time, the program took the ice against the highest-ranked team that the young Sun Devils had ever faced.

BC was No. 3 in the country and they beat ASU 3-1, but it was a game that could be reflected on as a positive, as a superior Eagles team was given all they could handle. Then-freshman ASU goaltender Joey Daccord made 38 saves, and Cotton had the game-winner for BC.

The two school’s also came close to squaring off last year at the Ice Vegas Invitational, but BC lost to Michigan Tech by a score of 4-3 in the opening round. As many Sun Devil fans remember, that Michigan Tech team would go on to play ASU in the championship, and the Devils prevailed in a 3-2 victory.

Other Notes:

After losing to No. 19 Clarkson and tying No. 3 Minnesota State last weekend, ASU dropped one spot from No. 9 to No. 10 earlier in the week in the Pairwise Rankings for the NCAA tournament.

However, No. 12 Bowling Green lost to Bemidji State on Thursday, and that pushed the Devils back up to No. 9 in the Pairwise, leaving them still in good position to make the NCAA Tournament.

BC will also be without freshman forward Oliver Wahlstrom, who is representing Team USA at the IIHF World Junior Championships.