(Photo: Allyson Cummings/WCSN)
Ranked opponents, rivals, division one teams, conference opponents; it’s no surprise that the Arizona State hockey team will face all of these this season. This Friday and Saturday night the Sun Devils will face all of the above when the Arizona Wildcats come to town.
The second ranked Sun Devils host the NO. 20 Wildcats this weekend when both teams see their first division one action of the season. Arizona State has played three games against division two teams and has outscored their opponents 33-2, while Arizona took two games from NAU.
Arizona State has won 32 straight matchups against Arizona. The instate rivals play eight times a year, meaning it’s been more than four years since the Wildcats have beaten the Sun Devils.
Wildcats To Watch:
The Wildcats return two of their top point scorers from last season. Andrew Mermes had 48 points for UA last season. The senior forward is coming off of a year with 17 goals and 31 assists. Their highest returning goal scorer is Ansel Ivens-Anderson, who scored 22 times last year. He tacked on 24 assists for a total of 46 points, the second most of any returner.
Sun Devils To Watch:
Coach Greg Powers has said repeatedly that he thinks his lines are best in the league.
“I wouldn’t trade any one of my players for a player at Arizona,” Powers said. With that said, there are a few standout players for you to keep your eye on.
Kale Dolinski enters his senior year as one of the top goal scorers in the ACHA. With three goals and four assists, Dolinski is tied for first on the team in goals and second in assists this season. Leading the team in points is fellow senior forward Brian McGinty who has three goals and five assists.
What To Watch For:
Powers believes his first two lines are far superior to those of Arizona but if the depth of ASU should be the big difference maker. If the Wildcats stack their first two lines, it will be the third and fourth lines that win the game for the Sun Devils. Those lines have a nice mix of veterans and young guys to go along with great talent. The depth of the Sun Devils will be the difference this weekend.