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ASU Hockey: American International Preview

Senior weekend

Richard Martinez/House of Sparky

It’s senior weekend for No. 12 Arizona State (19-10-1) as they look to close out their final two home games of the season against American International College (17-12-1).

The Yellow Jackets are currently in first place in the Atlantic Hockey Conference, and they are in the driver’s seat to make the NCAA Tournament courtesy of an automatic bid. For the first time in a long time, AIC has a team full of skill and they can cause lots of problems.

ASU comes back home on a three-game road win streak while AIC has won eight of its last nine games. With both teams playing good hockey, this weekend should be a fun one. Here is a little more to know about the Yellow Jackets.

What Time/Where to Watch

Both games drop the puck at 7:05 p.m. local time and they can be viewed on the Pac-12 Live Stream.

Players to Watch

American International has an international flare to its roster. The Yellow Jackets have 11 players from outside of North America, and their team ranges from all over the globe, varying rom Quebec, to Slovenia, to the Czech Republic.

However, as for which players can light the lamp, AIC junior forward Blake Christensen, junior forward Kyle Stephan, and sophomore defenseman Brennan Kapcheck have all put up big numbers this year.

Christensen has a mammoth 37 points with 13 goals and 24 assists, and Stephan and Kapchek have 23 points on a roster that is full of scoring depth. Additionally, Stephan and Kapcheck have two of the highest plus-minuses on the team, as the duo is both +8 on the ice.

Between the Pipes

In goal, junior Zackarias Skog has logged the majority of time in net for AIC. He has played in 24 games while allowing 68 goals against. Skog has a current .892 save percentage and he has gone 14-9.

Sophomore Stefano Durante has been the other man in the cage for AIC this year. He holds a 3.16 goals against average in eight games. Don’t be surprised to see either netminder get a nod this weekend.

Series History

In the only other meeting between the two schools, ASU beat American International 3-2 at AIC during the 2016-17 season. The Devils are 1-0 against the Yellow Jackets.

What the Coach had to say about the opponent:

Coach Powers: “They are talented. They have a lot of skill and you can’t give them time and space. If you take away time and space and you defend with a lot of urgency...we think we can play with them. But if you let them go, they are not leading their conference for no reason. They are a good hockey team and they are very well-coached. They themselves, have completely revamped their program. It’s a winning culture there now and their staff has done an amazing job building up that program since they took over and they have themselves in a great position. They are not coming in here just to play a highly-ranked team and get some sunshine. They are coming here to win some games.”

Other Notes

-Senior night is on Saturday. Anthony Croston, Dylan Hollman, Jack Rowe, Jake Clifford and Jakob Stridsberg will all be honored. Additionally, depending on what decision he makes this offseason, it could be the final time to see ASU junior goaltender Joey Daccord play in a game at Oceanside Ice Arena.

-Daccord, a Hobey Baker Finalist and seventh round draft pick of the Ottawa Senators, becomes a free agent if he does not sign with the Sens this Summer, and he will either choose to go pro or elect to stay with ASU for another year. If he stays in maroon and gold, he becomes a free agent.

-After this weekend’s games, Jack Rowe and redshirt freshman forward Gage Mackie will not be with the team for the team’s upcoming games against Minnesota. Both players are going overseas to play for Team USA in the World University Games in Krasnoyarsk, Russia on March 2-12.