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ASU Hockey: Minnesota Preview

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The Devils are headed to the State of Hockey

Richard Martinez/ House of Sparky

It’s off to Minneapolis this weekend as No. 12 Arizona State (21-10-1) ends the regular season for a two-game series at Minnesota (14-15-1).

The Devils come in riding high on a five-game win streak while the Golden Gophers have won three of their last four games against two strong opponents in No. 7 Ohio State and No. 17 Notre Dame.

Last year, three out of the four teams in the NCAA Frozen Four hailed from the Big 10. However, after a tough go of things this year, the conference is in danger of sending just a lone team to college hockey’s Big Dance. That one team would be Ohio State, who is (19-8-50entering the final month of the regular season.

Minnesota resides at second place in the Big 10 despite being a game under .500, and just being one game over .500 in conference play. With the final two games of the regular season coming up and 14 votes in the USCHO poll, the Golden Gophers find themselves hanging on to desperation to try and make one last postseason push.

Mariucci Arena is never an easy venue to play in, and it’s a bigger ice sheet compared to Oceanside Ice Arena. With more open ice and a final regular season series on tap, here is a little more to know about the Golden Gophers.

What Time/Where to Watch:

Both games drop the puck at 6 p.m. MST. They can be viewed with a Fox Sports Go cable login. If you don’t have a cable login or subscription, the games can be heard on the Minnesota radio stream.

Players to Watch

Minnesota has 13 NHL draft picks on its roster. Among the most notable to keep an eye out for, junior forward Rem Pitlick has 38 points in 33 games played. He’s a third round selection of the Nashville Predators, and he can pose problems offensively with his playmaking ability.

Among others, senior forward Tyler Sheehy has 36 points and three other players have 20 points or more.

Between the Pipes

Junior goaltender Mat Robson has logged most of the minutes in net for Minnesota. He is 11-11-4 with a .918 save percentage and 3.01 goals against average.

Robson has had more time in goal, but backup senior netminder Eric Schierhorn has shared held some responsibility as well. He’s started six games and appeared in 10. Robson has been the starter, but don’t be surprised to see a possible start for Schierhorn on Minnesota’s senior day.

What the Coach had to say about the opponent:

Coach Powers: “I think at this point, we are going to get everybody’s best. It was no different with AIC. It doesn’t matter. We got to focus on us. We know how good they are, we know how skilled they are, we know how difficult of a building it can be to play in, but we are going to embrace it and have fun with it and do what we have been doing all year.”

Other Notes

-Lemieux, Briere and Niedermayer. No, you aren’t reading the names of an NHL All-Star team. You are reading the names of future Sun Devil hockey players. Redshirt freshman forward Austin Lemieux is already on the team, and he will be joined by future commitments. Carson Briere and Jackson Niedermayer are already committed to the Sun Devils, and Powers added to his platoon again this week. Logan Jenuwine committed to ASU out of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), giving the Devils three of the top 12 scorers from the NAHL.