(Photo: Gabrielle Mercer/WCSN)
Still riding high after its 4-2 victory last weekend over No. 17 Quinnipiac, Arizona State will be tested yet again in two games against No. 9 Western Michigan.
The Sun Devils have split their last two series with ranked opponents and have won four of their last six games.
WMU will deploy freshman goaltender Ben Blacker at least once this weekend, and whenever he gets between the pipes, goals will be scarce for the Sun Devils.
Blacker ranks third in the nation in average goals allowed, having let up an average of 1.81 goals per game through 13 appearances this season. In addition, the freshman has lost just two of his 11 starts.
For the Devils, a freshman of their own has turned a corner as of late.
Joey Daccord returned to relevance in a big way against the Bobcats last weekend – he saved 53 shots and allowed just two goals.
If Blacker and Daccord get the opportunity to face-off, it will be a match-up of two of the country’s most promising young netminders.
Still, each offense has the opportunity to make an impact.
Western Michigan enters the weekend ranked 15 in goals per game (3.21), while Arizona State has continued to trend upward – the Sun Devils sit at 32 in the same category (2.90).
Puck drop is set for 5 p.m. Arizona time on Friday and Saturday.