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ASU Hockey: RIT Preview

Back in Tempe

Richard Martinez/House of Sparky

No. 14 Arizona State (13-8-3) is back to action this weekend when the Sun Devils host the Rochester Institute of Technology (11-8-3) at Oceanside Ice Arena.

ASU is fresh off a series sweep against Brown, and the Devils are looking to get on a roll throughout the rest of 2020.

Last season ASU swept RIT back at their home arena, and the Tigers are currently 7-6-3 in the Atlantic Hockey Conference, which is good enough for fifth place behind Sacred Heart, Army, American International, and Robert Morris.

Last weekend, RIT also pulled off an upset against No. 13 UMass Lowell.

With another pivotal series in a postseason push, the Sun Devils will look to take advantage of home ice and take care of business.

Here’s more to know about the series:

What Time/Where To Watch

For the first time in over a month, ASU won’t be playing in a Saturday/Sunday series. The Sun Devils drop the puck tonight at 7:05 p.m. local time, and game two on Saturday is set up for another 7:05 start.

Both games can be viewed on the Pac-12 Live Stream.

Players to Watch

Unlike an offensively-quenched Brown team that was averaging very low goal totals last weekend, RIT comes in with some offensive weapons and depth.

The Tigers have eight different players with double-digit point totals, and they are led by senior forward Shawn Cameron, who is tied with sophomore forward Will Calverley for the team lead in points with 16.

There are also three different players with nine goals, and senior defenseman Adam Brubacher has a team-leading 11 assists.

Between the Pipes

Junior goaltender Logan Drackett has been the main man in net for the Tigers. He has made 21 appearances with a .911 save percentage and a 2.53 goals against average.

Freshman Kolby Mathews and junior Ian Andriano have also combined to make four appearances behind Drackett.

Series History

Last year’s series back in New York was ASU’s only meeting with RIT. The Sun Devils took both games and recorded 10 goals over a two-day span, outscoring the Tigers 10-3.

What Coach had to say about the opponent:

Coach Powers: “We are playing teams that are going to be hunting us and excited to play us and it’s not going to be easy. It’s going to be hard. This is a really good hockey team coming in this weekend that just beat Umass-Lowell on Saturday. We know what we’re up against.”

Other Notes

-Junior forward Dom Garcia was in a blue non-contact jersey on Tuesday. Powers stated that he could have a possible return this weekend after dealing with a lower body injury the last few weeks.

-One of the biggest cogs in ASU’s comeback victory at Brown on Sunday was backup goaltender Max Prawdzik, who made 18 saves in relief and didn’t allow a goal in front of starter Evan DeBrouwer to help give his team an opportunity for the four-goal rally.

Powers noted that Prawdzik stepped up, and fans can expect to see him get more time based on the way he produced for his team on Sunday.

Despite a couple tough appearances earlier this season that led to less time in net, the Sun Devil netminder appears to be boosting his confidence each time he steps on the ice.

Furthermore, he elaborated on how comfortable he is at ASU after four years at Boston University.

His teammates have supported him the whole time, and it’s not difficult to see why he’s been so easy to rally behind based on his comments earlier this week about his time in Tempe and how he views things other than just what’s happening on the ice.

“Sure, maybe I wish I was playing a little more at the beginning of the year, but the team has done great and Evan has had a tremendous season and I am so happy for him because he is an unbelievable kid. He’s super modest and his demeanor towards me or towards anyone else hasn’t changed because he’s had this great season, which is really impressive,” Prawdzik said.

“It’s just been a good opportunity to learn the lesson of if something isn’t going your way, how do you just not let it bother you and not give attention to it? That’s kind of what I have been working on in the meantime when I haven’t been in the lineup as much as I want, and I am just really happy with the team here.

I didn’t really feel at BU that I was really a part of the group. Maybe it was because I didn’t play or I was younger, but here I know that regardless of win or loss or if I am playing or not, I know that I have really good friends here and that’s super comforting regardless of what happens. I’ve been doing this for a while and hockey isn’t really going to define me at this point. I am trying to make good relationships and make a good impression on people, and just be myself everyday no matter what.”