(Photo: Gabrielle Mercer/WCSN)
As is occasionally the case when you have a team littered with transfers, an Arizona State player will face off against his former team this week.
On Tuesday, when the Sun Devils travel to Springfield, Mass. to play American International College, forward David Norris will reunite with some familiar foes.
In his one season at AIC, Norris finished second on the team with 32 points in 34 games before transferring to ASU to play with his older brother Liam, a captain on the 2015-16 team.
Even though the Sun Devils will only be playing one game against the opponent rather than the traditional two, Norris says the team is approaching the schedule change just like any other game.
At the same time, he admits that this game will be different than all others this season for him because of his personal connection.
“I definitely think it will be a little different than other games just because I wore that jersey, played in the rink, and know so many people there so I think there will be a lot of emotions.”
Even though he played on the team for just one year, he was able to build some lifelong connections in the process that go beyond just hockey.
“I think I left on great terms,” Norris said. “Everyone on the team was obviously a bit upset to see me leave but they were all supportive and understood my move. I made some pretty good friends at AIC and I am still pretty close with them.”
The Yellow Jackets have gone through a lot of changes over the two seasons since Norris departed. His former head coach, Gary Wright, has since retired after 32 years at the helm. Norris isn’t as familiar with his replacement, rookie head coach Eric Lang, so while a lot of the players are still there, the team still features a relatively new look.
Right now the Yellow Jackets sit near the bottom of the Atlantic Hockey Conference with just a 3-5-5 record. They are 0-3-1 in non-conference matchups.
While Norris hasn’t experienced much more success record wise at ASU, he is still happy with his decision to transfer.
He has one goal and seven assists this season and has primarily played on the first or second lines.
Although he doesn’t have any sort of insider information about his former team that could give ASU a leg up, Norris knows that the team just needs to play more consistently for a stretch that goes beyond just one game.
On Tuesday, however, he is planning on soaking in the atmosphere in Springfield as much as possible.
“It will be a lot of fun,” he said. “I have been looking forward to going back to Springfield for a while. I know a lot of the guys on the team so it will be interesting to be playing against them but I think it will be a fun time.”