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ASU Hockey: Alaska Anchorage Preview

Senior weekend on tap

Richard Martinez/House of Sparky

For the first time ever, No. 10 Arizona State (20-9-3) is ranked No. 10 in all three major college hockey rankings.

The Sun Devils sit at 10th in the USCHO hockey poll, the PairWise Rankings, and the USA Today/USA Hockey polls.

Additionally, according to a College Hockey News Pairwise Matrix earlier this week, ASU has a 92 percent probability to make the postseason with four games to play.

This week, the Devils’ welcome Alaska Anchorage (4-19-5) into Oceanside Ice Arena for the final two home games of the season. With just four victories, it has been tough sledding for the Sea Wolves, and they sit near the bottom of the PairWise rankings at No. 56.

A loss in either game could prove to be costly for ASU, and they will need to take care of business with an Anchorage squad that has an upset in mind.

Here is more to know about this weekend’s set of games:

What Time/Where to Watch

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

Players to Watch

The scoring has been sparse for the Sea Wolves, but one of their main offensive weapons has been freshman forward Rylee St. Onge, who leads the team in points with eight goals and seven assists.

Between the Pipes

In net, the sophomore and junior tandem of Kristian Stead and Kris Carlson have been in the crease.

Carlson boasts more playing time, as he has appeared in 18 games, allowing 2.76 goals per game while holding a .917 save percentage.

Stead on the other hand, has held up some tough stats with a 4.71 goals against average and a .858 save percentage in 10 games played.

Series History

The only other meeting between these two programs occurred during ASU’s hybrid season in 2015. They lost 3-2 in Anchorage.

What coach had to say about the series:

Coach Powers: “Every team is good in college hockey. I think one of the evolutions of our program right now, and one of the pitfalls that we are falling into is that we’ve elevated ourselves so quickly to a ranked, top team, that we are getting everybody’s best every night.

We got those two teams last weekend (Bentley and Holy Cross), and it was their very best and they gave us all we could handle. But it’s just dealing with that and guys are dealing with it well, I think. We’ve won nine of 10 games and we are finding ways to win. That’s what good teams do.”

Other Notes

-Injury update. For the last few weekends, ASU has been without junior defenseman and captain Jacob Wilson and sophomore forward Demetrios Koumontzis.

There has also been other Sun Devils who have been playing through some pain, but Powers noted that the team is “optimistic” that Wilson will be back. However, Koumontzis will be out for another week at least.

-Pasichnuk’s landmark. Senior defenseman and captain Brinson Pasichnuk sits at a career 99-point plateau heading into the final four regular season games. The next time he registers a point, it will be a special one.

-Senior weekend. Pasichnuk is one point away from a milestone, and he is also sure to be emotional when the Sun Devils take the ice on Saturday night.

The team will be honoring its senior class, as the Devils pay tribute to forward Tyler Busch, forward Brett Gruber, goaltender Max Prawdzik, and both Steen and Brinson Pasichnuk. Brinson elaborated on the feeling.

“It’s going to be a sad night, I am not going to lie,” Brinson said. “I think all of our seniors, including myself, are going to be pretty emotional when it’s over because it’s been the best four years of all of our lives....It’s been the most incredible journey I’ve ever been on.”