Hockey Looks to Tussle at #5 Quinnipiac
HAMDEN, Conn. -- The Arizona State men's ice hockey team (6-4) returns from a bye week to face a top-five opponent for the first time this season at No. 5 Quinnipiac (7-1-2). Sun Devil Hockey travels to Hamden for the two-game series against the Bobcats on November 12 and 13. Both games will start at 5:00 p.m. MST at Frank Perrotti Jr. Arena and will be viewable on ESPN+.
This is the first top-five opponent for Arizona State, who is coming off a series sweep of St. Thomas, since facing No. 1 Minnesota in Minneapolis on January 3, 2021.
"You know, the big teams you need to beat, especially on the road," said head coach Greg Powers. "So, that's in the back of your head. But at the same time we focus on each game, game-by-game and don't want to look too far in the future of who comes next. That's just our main focus: that first game on Friday."
The Sun Devils continued to stay hot at home and hit the road after back-to-back series sweeps at Oceanside against the University of New Hampshire and St. Thomas University. ASU scored 19 goals in their last four home games, while holding opponents to just six goals. Through 10 games, ASU is 6-0 when scoring four or more goals and 4-0 when allowing two or fewer goals.
It's arguable that Quinnipiac is one of ASU's most familiar foes - the two programs have played eight times in ASU's seven-year history. ASU last faced Quinnipiac during the 2018-19 season and the program's first NCAA Tournament run. The Sun Devils ultimately lost 1-2 to the Bobcats in the Regional round.
"We know it's a big weekend for us. They are obviously a good team again," said Johnny Walker, who was on the squad for that tournament appearance. "I think the guys who were here for that tournament still have a bitter taste in their mouth and it sure still stings me."
The Sun Devils played twice in Connecticut in 2017 and sit at an even 1-1 against the Bobcats in Hamden. In the one win, Joey Daccord recorded a program high 53 saves.
Quinnipiac is 3-1-0 at home, and sits a 7-1-2 on the season after wins on the road against Yale and Brown last week. The series will be a battle of special teams as the Bobcats have a top-five penalty kill at 92.6 percent and the Sun Devils have a hot power play squad. ASU's top scorer Matthew Kopperud boasts seven PPG through 10 games this season which matches his 2020-21 season total last season through 25 games.
After being the NCAA's point leader for five straight weeks, Matthew Kopperud sits in second place with 17 points (8G-9A) after a week off. Josh Doan is fourth in the NCAA in points with 14 (4G-10A).
HISTORY VS. QUINNIPIAC (8 games)
Oct. 15, 2015 - L, 0-5
Jan. 27, 2017 - L, 2-5
Jan. 28, 2017 - W, 4-2
Jan. 19, 2018 - T, 2-2
Jan. 20, 2018 - L, 3-5
March 30, 2019 - L, 1-2 (NCAA Tournament - Regionals)
Nov. 1, 2020 - W, 5-3
Nov. 2, 2020 - W, 4-1