(Photo: Gabrielle Mercer/WCSN)
This weekend’s turnaround trip to the East Coast is going to be unconventional for Arizona State hockey.
While the brief road stint will feature two games, they will come against different opponents, in different states, within one night of each other. First, the Sun Devils will draw the matchup of New Hampshire in Durham on Friday before making the drive to Boston to take on Jerry York and No. 3 Boston College on Saturday.
Still, ASU head coach Greg Powers is approaching the test business-as-usual.
“We’re just going to keep grinding it out,” Powers said. “We believe we’re doing all the right things against, again, a tough schedule like everybody knows and we’re not going to change or stray from our process.
“Until you perfect your process and get really good at it, you can’t get the results that you desire.”
Although the team has now lost five straight games – seven total on the season – the road doesn’t get much easier for Arizona State. Still, Powers has taken some silver linings from each loss and still feels the team is making strides.
Again, making a point of sticking to the process, regardless of how ugly and difficult it may look at times.
“In 5-on-5, we are competing with everybody,” Powers said. “But we just have a young, new group that when we’re a man down or a man up we’re not executing. It’s just simple stuff, we go to the film and it’s just lack of execution, it’s lack of execution it’s not lack of preparation.”
This season, Arizona State has scored on just five of its 57 power play opportunities, something Powers attributes to the lack of offense at times and reinforces the notion that special teams need to improve.
“When you’re struggling on the power play, or whatever it may be, you can see in the first game, well, the only game we played against Michigan, the first two power plays we actually had a lot of good chances, we were ticking it around really well. I think they got frustrated, inexperienced group, and when they get frustrated, they start to stray from the process and start to lose focus.”
Much like with Michigan on Friday, the outcome isn’t as critical as the impact these games will have on the development of Arizona State as a program.
Powers says that York was one of the first coaches to reach out to work out a scheduling between the programs in an effort to help the with the team’s progression. An offer that Powers took full advantage of.
“We’re going to go [to Boston] for one and then they’re actually going to come back here for two in 2018-19,” Powers said. “With Michigan, they came here for one and we’re going back [to Ann Arbor] for two next year. So we’re excited about it, another legendary coach and program that we get to cut our teeth against.
“We’re looking forward to the challenge.”