The road to the NCAA Tournament is hanging in the balance with one month to play for No. 12 Arizona State (16-9-3).
With a much more favorable schedule down the stretch, and following a series split last weekend at No. 6 Clarkson, the Sun Devils have another test in front of them when they take on Robert Morris (9-12-3) this weekend at Oceanside Ice Arena.
The Colonials are 9-8 in the Atlantic Hockey Conference, and they have lost three out of their last four games.
At this point in the year, and sitting at No. 11 in the postseason PairWise Rankings, any loss or dent against a sub-500 team could be very costly for ASU. Thus, RMU will look to play spoiler while coming into Tempe. Here are a few more things to know about the series:
What Time/Where to Watch
Both matchups drop the puck at 7:05 p.m. local time, with game one on Friday, Jan. 31 and Saturday, Feb. 1. They can be viewed online on the Pac-12 live stream.
Players to Watch
The Colonials leading scorer is junior forward Nick Prkusic, who has 16 points in 21 games played. He is also RMU’s leading goal-scorer with seven this season. Additionally, sophomore forward Justin Addamo has tallied 13 points behind Prkusic.
Between the Pipes
In net, senior goaltender Justin Kapelmaster has logged the majority of minutes in the crease for RMU. In 21 games, he holds a 2.42 goals against average and a .933 save percentage.
Backup junior netminder Dylan Lubbesmeyer has also appeared six times and made his mark, as he comes in with a 2.10 GAA.
This is the first-ever meeting between these two programs.
What Coaches had to say about the opponent:
Assistant coach Mike Field on the road ahead: “Every game is essentially a playoff game for us with the way it sets up and not being in a conference. It’s going to be another huge weekend and we need to stick to what we do that gives us success. Hopefully we come out with some good results.”
-Injury update: ASU has been playing every weekend since the end of November. With so many games piled up at once, the Sun Devils have come down with a few bumps and bruises.
That wear and tear will be evident this weekend, as both junior defenseman Jacob Wilson and sophomore forward Demetrios Koumonzis will be out of the lineup on Friday night.
Koumontzis has missed a few games this season as a healthy scratch, but his absence in game one against RMU stems from health. Additionally, Field noted that senior forwards Brett Gruber and Steen Pasichnuk were up in the air, but both players have found themselves in the starting lineup for the first game of the series.
Rolling these out tonight! #ForksUp pic.twitter.com/4qUDtmJxfM— Sun Devil Hockey (@SunDevilHockey) February 1, 2020