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Special Teams Buzzing into Rematch vs. #12/14 Wisconsin

Jan 14, 2021

Game Notes | Watch Fri/Sat

MADISON, Wisc. -- Following a series split with No. 18 Notre Dame last weekend, Sun Devil Hockey travels to Madison for the next stop in their Big Ten journey where they will face No. 12/14 Wisconsin (6-6-0) for the final time this season. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. CT / 6 p.m. MT on both Friday and Saturday. Game one will air on FOX Sports Arizona, while game two is scheduled for FOX Sports Arizona Plus with potential to be flexed to FS-AZ regular. Both will also be available on BTN+.
The Sun Devils (5-9-2) are looking to start a winning streak going into the weekend. The last time they played in Madison, they walked out with their first road sweep against a ranked Big Ten opponent taking down the Badgers, 8-5 and 3-1. 
"We have Wisconsin who's going to be chomping at the bit to get us back for sweeping them," said head coach Greg Powers. "They're going to be at full strength now and we're going to have our work cut out for us."
Sun Devil Rewind
This past weekend, senior forward Johnny Walker reached his 100th career point with an assist on senior forward James Sanchez's goal in the first period of Sunday's game. Since his return, Walker has scored in three consecutive games, totaling seven points (3G-4A). With four goals on the weekend, freshman forward Matthew Kopperud leads the nation in goals scored (12) and is tied for second in points (18).
On Sunday afternoon, sophomore netminder Justin Robbins got his first collegiate start and win with 26 saves for the Sun Devils. Before suffering a season-ending injury in 2019-20, Robbins' last appearance came in relief on Oct. 12, 2019 at Minnesota State.
ASU's special teams has shown massive improvement over the course of the season. The Sun Devil penalty killing unit has negated 10-straight penalties dating back to the last game against Ohio State. During this run, they were able to kill all four penalties, including a 5-minute major against Minnesota's 2nd-ranked power-play unit. The next night, the Sun Devils did not commit a penalty during the game for the first time in program history. After starting the season 3-for-36 through the first 11 games, the Sun Devil power play has displayed its offensive capabilities with at least one goal in five consecutive games, three of which included multiple goals. Before playing ASU, Minnesota's penatly kill had never allowed a goal through eight games before Kopperud ended the streak and senior forward Sean Dhooghe netted another the next night. Kopperud continued his man-advantage streak with two power-play goals in each game against the Irish.
Beating the Badgers
The Badgers (6-6-0) made headlines last weekend as they were the first and only team to have handed the Golden Gophers a loss this season. They went on to split the series, but managed to get three goals against the No. 1 ranked team, a feat which has only been done once before this season when the Sun Devils netted four goals the week prior.
Sophomore forward Cole Caufield, the 2019 15th-overall pick, leads Wisconsin offensively with 14 points (7G-7A). ASU is currently the only team to hold Caufield to zero points in a series, as he has recorded at least one point in every other game this season. The Badgers will have 2020 14th-overall pick Dylan Holloway back in their lineup after missing eight games while World Junior camp with Team Canada. Holloway has only played four games this season tallying two points (0G-2A).
Netminder Robbie Beydoun, a Michigan Tech graduate transfer, has held most of the time in the back end for the Badgers with 11 starts out of 12 games, played posting a .904 save percentage and 3.34 goals against average.