ASU hockey announces schedule arrangement with Big Ten for 2020-21 season

The Sun Devils will play 28 road games against Big Ten schools

The ASU men's hockey team will play 28 road games as part of a scheduling arrangement with the Big Ten for the 2020-21 season, the program announced Tuesday afternoon.

ASU will be joining Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin for the upcoming season, and it will play each of those teams four times.

"We are obviously thrilled to partner with the Big Ten on this scheduling arrangement coming out of such a difficult and challenging last six months," ASU hockey head coach Greg Powers said in the team's press release on Tuesday. "We are looking forward to the challenge presented in front of us and making all Sun Devils proud."

The partnership includes ASU in the Big Ten's planned schedule, which will be conference-only due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Sun Devils will not host any games at Oceanside Arena or play any non-conference opponents this season.

"We believe that this was the best option presented to us to give our players a meaningful season," Powers said in a Zoom press conference with reporters Tuesday afternoon. 

The 2020-21 season will begin as soon as November 13, according to the release. 

"With the national trend of athletic conferences transitioning their schedules to conference only, several of our programs are directly affected and maybe none more than our hockey program as an independent," Vice President for University Athletics Ray Anderson said in the release. 

ASU, who has been independent since it became an NCAA Division I team in 2014, was one of two independent programs in college hockey before the announcement, with the other being Long Island University. The Sun Devils will return to independent status after completing its schedule with the Big Ten.

"The 2020-21 hockey season builds on the rich traditions of Big Ten Hockey and brings new competitive opportunities to the Conference with the Arizona State University scheduling agreement," Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said in the release. "As our teams return to competition, we will continue to keep the health and safety of our student-athletes at the forefront of our decisions."

The partnership will last only for the duration of the 2020-21 season, and ASU will not be eligible to compete in the Big Ten Hockey Tournament at the conclusion of the season. 

"We were just focused on getting as competitive of a schedule as we could get," Powers said in the Zoom press conference. "For anyone that knows me and our program, we're not afraid of adversity and this is just another obstacle we're looking forward to conquering."


Reach the reporters at aklatsky@asu.edu and follow @averyklatsky on Twitter. 

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