ASU men's hockey hopes to put together 60-minute efforts against Quinnipiac

The Sun Devils are determined to break Friday curse in major games against Quinnipiac

ASU men’s hockey (7-13-4) is set to play the Quinnipiac Bobcats (8-12-3) after splitting its fourth series of the season against UMass Lowell last weekend.

The Sun Devils’ games against UMass Lowell varied greatly as the first matchup was a 4-0 shutout loss and the second a 4-0 victory for ASU. 

“Our guys are resilient. They’ve proved they're resilient,” head coach Greg Powers said. “We bounced back in a big way on Saturday, and I’m proud of them for that. That’s a good solid split against that program in our second full season. We’ll take it.”

ASU has only won four of its 11 Friday games this season, and while the team can take its ability to bounce back as a major positive, the Sun Devils are determined to break the pattern of losing on Fridays.

“We’re going to focus on trying to bring that same effort on Fridays, too,” sophomore centerman Tyler Busch said. “It’s great the way we’ve been coming back on Saturday nights, but at the same time, we need to clean that up on the first night.”

Last season, the Sun Devils followed the same trend, as they also lost on a Friday 5-2 to Quinnipiac and responded with a 4-2 win that Saturday.

Junior centerman Anthony Croston scored a pair of goals in that win and plans to get a similar result as long as the Sun Devils stick to their type of hockey, which emphasizes an intense effort.

“Hopefully get a couple more (goals), but as long as we stick to how we know how to play, it’ll come, and it’s a huge weekend for us to build some confidence,” Croston said. 

Upon playing the Bobcats last year, ASU had a 9-19-2 record, while Quinnipiac was 14-10-2.

This was a noticeable difference as ASU had nine more losses than Quinnipiac. However, the Bobcats enter this series with an almost identical record as the Sun Devils.

“They have a good team. We know that ... We’ve got to just prepare like any other weekend, and we’re not focusing too much on what they’re bringing to the table,” Busch said.  “We’re focusing on us and sticking with the mindset that we’ve got to bring it both nights. If we do that, I think the results should be there.”

The biggest key for the Sun Devils this weekend is playing well-rounded hockey the entire game. ASU showed its first 60-minute effort last Saturday where they performed well both offensively and defensively. 

The team will have to do this again in order to have success against the Bobcats, as well as to keep adding more wins to their 3-1 record in 2018.

“I think we just really need to focus on all the things we did this past Saturday,” Croston said. “This past Saturday was probably one of our best full-system games we’ve played this whole year and the past two years, honestly. They’re a really good team, so we stuck to our game plan and so, hopefully, we can carry that into next weekend.”

The Sun Devils will take on Quinnipiac at Oceanside Arena on Friday and at Gila River Arena on Saturday, with both games set to start at 7:05 p.m. MST.



Reach the reporter at pburnell@asu.edu or follow @paige_burnell on Twitter.   

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