Winners of five of its last six games, No. 13 Arizona State (15-8-3) ventures to upstate New York this weekend to take on No. 8 Clarkson (16-5-2) in a series that has postseason implications in a top-15 showdown.
The Golden Knights are currently in first place in the ECAC with a 10-3 record against conference opponents.
Under ninth-year head coach Casey Jones, Clarkson plays a stingy, discipline, and physical brand of hockey that has brought them success over the last couple of seasons.
Last year, Jones’ group finished third in the conference with a young platoon of players and ended up getting bounced 3-2 in overtime against Notre Dame in the first round of the Manchester Regional in the NCAA Tournament.
This year’s squad of Golden Knights returns as a hungry group that boasts the number one penalty kill in the country, as well as a top-15 power play.
ASU will have its hands full, but a quality road split or sweep could help them substantially with their postseason aspirations. Here are a few more things to ponder heading into this weekend’s matchup:
What Time/Where to Watch
The set of games is a Friday/Saturday slate, with game one on Friday, January 24 at 5:30 p.m. local time, while Saturday’s matchup gets underway at the same time at 5:30.
Similar to ASU’s last road series at Brown, the games can be viewed on ESPN+ with a monthly subscription. If you don’t have that, the series can also be heard on Clarkson’s radio network stream on B99.3 FM.
Players to Watch
Clarkson’s three leading point men are senior forward Haralds Egle, senior forward Devin Brosseau, and sophomore forward Josh Dunne. The trio all has 20+ points and Egle leads the group in goals with 11.
Between the Pipes
Senior goaltender Frank Marotte has been a work horse for Clarkson, as he has been in net for every second of the Golden Knights season. He holds a .938 save percentage and a stellar 1.77 goals against average.
In three tries, ASU has never defeated Clarkson. They were swept on the road during the program’s first-year hybrid season in 2015, and in more recent memory, the Sun Devils were worn down at Gila River Arena last December in their first game of the Desert Hockey Classic.
Following a three-week holiday lay-off, ASU returned to play and it was put in a strangle hold and taken down courtesy of a 3-0 Clarkson shutout.
Overall, it would be a memorable weekend for the Golden Knights in Arizona, as the following evening, they went on to defeat the two-time defending national champion Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs by a final of 3-1 in the tournament championship.
What coach had to say about the opponent:
Coach Powers: “We are going to go in fresh and as healthy as we can and they are a really good team. They are a heavy team and they play very similar to us when they are playing really well. It’s going to be a great series.”
-Currently on a four-game winning streak, ASU moved up to No. 11 in this week’s PairWise rankings, putting them in good position to make the tournament if they take care of business with 10 games remaining. A win or two in Potsdam could further add to their resume.
-Junior forward Dom Garcia returned to the lineup last weekend against RIT. It had been the first time in nearly a month that the third-year skater had been back in game action since sustaining a lower body injury.
-Hobey Watch. ASU has three players on the ballot for this year’s Hobey Baker Award, which goes out to the top NCAA men’s ice hockey player each season.
The Sun Devils have junior forward James Sanchez, junior forward Johnny Walker, and senior defenseman Brinson Pasichnuk in the mix.
College hockey fans can vote once a day for their pick at this link: https://www.hobeybaker.com/vote.
-Speaking of Hobey Baker contenders, too, one former Sun Devil who was nominated for that accolade last season has been making noise in the American Hockey League (AHL). Joey Daccord is now with the Belleville Senators and he recorded a 43-save effort earlier this week.
He’s 8-3-2 overall with a 2.15 GAA and a .915 save percentage. Daccord also made a highlight reel save in his victory earlier this week, and he discussed his time at ASU in a feature done by the AHL affiliate for the Ottawa Senators.