(Photo: Gabrielle Mercer/WCSN)
After a rough weekend for Arizona State in Madison against the University of Wisconsin, the Sun Devils went back to work, focusing heavily on conditioning during their practice in their time off.
It will be a bit of a longer break for ASU, as they are off this weekend for the first Friday and Saturday since the season began.
Despite the off days, head coach Greg Powers doesn’t think that the team’s preparation will be affected.
“We’re not taking a week off,” he said. “It’s just a week off from playing games. We need to be better. We are stringing together really good moments, but we aren’t stringing together 60 good minutes, so we are going to practicing like this until we do that.”
The players are also taking it upon themselves to avoid suffering the same fate as they did last weekend against the Badgers.
“We’re a little frustrated with how last weekend went,” defenseman Drew Newmeyer said. “We are all about improving every week and trying to get better and better by putting together a strong full 60 minutes.”
ASU will be facing Lake Superior State in its next two games, which will take place on Nov. 13 and 14. In between that time, Powers said that he wants the team to improve on their urgency.
“I don’t think it’s anything too strategic,” he said. “We just aren’t focusing and going hard every time we are on the ice. At this level there needs to be that. That’s the rigors of having 15 freshmen; the compete level isn’t there on a consistent basis.”
ASU has made a habit of playing better as the weekend goes on, but also slacking early on in each series. While the team has had trouble coming out with wins during the weekend, ASU has lowered some of its deficits from three or four goals to just one or two.
The Sun Devils are making it their goal to come out strong right out of the gates so that they go toe-to-toe with their opponents right from the start. A big reason why ASU has struggled so much in the NCAA has been the fact that they have fallen behind early in games and have not recovered.
“It’s a waste of time to go into a series and just feel things out for the first game and go hard in the second night,” Powers said. “We need to create more of a sense of urgency on Friday against Lake Superior State so that we can go in on Saturday and play the same way.”
The extra week off for the Sun Devils will give them more time to prepare for the task at hand, which will be to get their first road win as an NCAA team when they face the Lakers.
“It’s all about amplifying our preparation and making sure we are ready to go,” Newmeyer said. “We make one mistake and teams are able to capitalize on it, so we have to make sure that doesn’t happen in the future.”