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Hockey Finishes 36-Day Road Trip in Columbus

Dec 16, 2020
Courtesy of Michigan State

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Coming off of two heartbreaking overtime losses at the hands of the Nittany Lions, Sun Devil Hockey heads to the Buckeye State to take on No. 18 Ohio State (3-5-0) to wrap up their 36-day road trip. The weekday series takes place Thursday and Friday night with puck drop set for 5:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. MT each night at Value City Arena on BTN+.
The Sun Devils (3-6-1) are looking to continue their offensive success, which is scoring at a rate of 4.50 goals per game over the last six games.
"They're a team that is hard to generate on, they're kind of like a younger version of Notre Dame and really well structured," said head coach Greg Powers. "It pretty doesn't matter who they're going to play they're going to play them nose to nose until the wire."
The first time these two teams met was back in 2017 with the Buckeyes winning game one of the series, 1-6, but the Sun Devils came back in game two to force overtime and win in the shootout. The game officially ended as a tie.
Sun Devil Rewind
The Sun Devil offense has continued to make a name for themselves after having to adapt without NCAA career goal leader Johnny Walker, who has been out with a knee injury suffered in game two of the season-opening series against Michigan. During his absence, freshman Matthew Kopperud has stepped up to the plate with 10 points (6G-4A) while Walker has been out, and continues to sit second in the country in points (11) and tied for first in goals scored. Another notable mention is sophomore Jax Murray, who now has seven points (5G-2A) in the last six games. Murray had earned his first career point against Wisconsin in game one and then his first career goal in game two.
Junior netminder Evan DeBrouwer posted 40-plus saves in both games against Penn State, maintaining a .910 save percentage and 3.49 goals against average in six games played. Goaltending counterpart, Cole Brady, who is a part of ASU's fifth-ranked incoming class continues to share the time in net maintaining a .906 save percentage and 3.62 goals against average in four games played.
What About the Buckeyes
The Buckeyes (3-5-0) have split the last three series against their Big Ten opponents after being swept by Minnesota in the season-opening series. Most recently, the Buckeyes went to South Bend to face the Fighting Irish where they lost game one (0-3) and fought back to win game two (3-2). The Sun Devils had a similar outcome with the Fighting Irish earning the win in game one (6-3) and losing game two (4-5).
Ohio State returned three of their top six scorers from last year who have continued to make an impact in this season. Junior forwards Quinn Preston and Gustaf Westlund lead all returners with 26 points each last season and are currently tied for third in scoring for the Buckeyes with five points apiece.
The Buckeyes leading scorer is freshman Travis Treloar who had 49 points (14G-35A) last season in the USHL with the Lincoln Stars and now leads the Buckeyes with eight points (3G-5A) in eight games played this season.
The Buckeyes key number is three as of late, as they're 3-0-0 when scoring three or more goals this season, yet 0-3-0 in recent games when scoring two or fewer.