PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

Know Your Enemy: Men’s Hockey vs. Arizona State

After a disappointing sweep at the hands of No. 4 Notre Dame, Penn State men’s hockey is back in action this weekend with its only West Coast trip of the season.

The Nittany Lions will travel to sunny Arizona to take on Arizona State for a weekend set at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, AZ. The puck drops at 10 p.m. Friday and 9:05 p.m. Saturday.

The General

Before getting into Arizona State’s hockey team, let’s address the elephant in the room: the travel. Penn State will fly across three different time zones before arriving in Arizona for this weekend’s series, but sophomore forward Blake Gober doesn’t think the travel time will impact the team much.

“We’re kind of used to traveling that much,” he said. “We would take 14-hour bus rides when we played in junior; we get to take a plane down there so it shouldn’t be too much of an adjustment. I’m just happy to get back to some warmer weather here, to be honest.”

As for the team that Gober and Penn State will take on this weekend, Arizona State has struggled in the early stages of the 2017-18 season. The Sun Devils are off to a 2-6-2 start to the year, but both of those wins came on home ice. They defeated UMass-Amherst on opening night and Alabama-Huntsville two weeks ago.

Last weekend, Arizona State was off with a rare bye week, something that Guy Gadowsky’s team has yet to experience through six weeks of the season.

As far as scoring is concerned for the Sun Devils, Swedish defenseman Jakob Stridsberg has led the charge through ten games; his five goals and seven points each lead the team. Trailing behind Stridsberg are forwards Brett Guber and Dylan Hollman, who each have six points so far this year.

The team’s power play has struggled so far this year with the plethora of opportunities given to them by its opposition. So far, the team is 5-44 on the man advantage this year, which means the unit is operating on a success rate of just more than 11 percent.

Arizona State’s defense has struggled throughout this season, allowing 3.2 goals per game through ten games. Sophomore goaltender Joey Daccord has seen the lion’s share of work thrown his way, starting nine of ten games so far.

Daccord’s record is 2-5-2 on the year, recording a 2.76 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage during his nine starts.

Zeroing In

Arizona State may not look that great on paper, but the team is clearly capable of winning on home ice, as evidenced by its opening night victory over UMass-Amherst.

This weekend is an early crucial point in Penn State’s season. Already at a 5-7 record, Guy Gadowsky’s Nittany Lions cannot afford to have their numbers worsened by one or two losses on the West Coast.

Penn State should see this weekend as a massive opportunity to string a couple of victories together and establish some momentum heading into the tougher games on the schedule, especially against an opponent as weak as Arizona State.

Last Meeting

Penn State and Arizona State have only met twice as Division I opponents. One year ago this weekend, the Nittany Lions swept the Sun Devils over two games at Pegula Ice Arena.

These two wins came during Penn State’s 11-game winning streak that would vault the team to the top of the NCAA rankings last season.

Prediction

Despite their struggles, I think the Nittany Lions should easily sweep Arizona State this weekend, just as they did last season at Pegula. The travel may be a tough adjustment for some of the players, but head athletic trainer Justin Rogers should have them ready to play, regardless of the time zone.

About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

Mikey is a junior majoring in journalism and Onward State's Assistant Sports Editor. He is from Bedminster, NJ and is extremely obnoxious about all the best things his home state has to offer, including the music of Bruce Springsteen and the best diners in the world. If you're dying to see more hockey content on your timeline, you can follow Mikey on Twitter @mikey_mandarino. Send all hate mail/death threats to [email protected]

Comments

Athletics

Incoming Penn State Track & Field Athlete Kristian Marche Shot To Death In Philadelphia

The incident surrounding Marche’s death is “under investigation,” according to the Philadelphia police department.

Former Women’s Gymnastics Coach Files Lawsuit Against Penn State Over Handling Of Abuse Allegations

Men’s Soccer Trio, Reading United Win PDL Eastern Conference Title, Fall Short Of National Championship

Penn State Hockey’s Evan Barratt, Aarne Talvitie Participate In World Junior Summer Showcase

Ally McHugh Wins 400 Medley National Championship

Student Life

Penn State Parking Office Runs Into Student Permit Purchase Issues

Students were delayed hours on Tuesday afternoon while trying to purchase on-campus parking permits.

Girirajan Lab Seeks To Bridge The Gap Between Fly And Human Genomes

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Onward State is hiring for the fall semester and we’d love to have you join us.

Incoming Penn State Track & Field Athlete Kristian Marche Shot To Death In Philadelphia

The incident surrounding Marche’s death is “under investigation,” according to the Philadelphia police department.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Madden NFL 19 Ratings For Nittany Lions

For the second consecutive year, Sean Lee is the highest-rated Nittany Lion in the Madden video game.

Send this to a friend