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Hockey Returns Home for the Holidays

Nov 22, 2021

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Sun Devil Hockey (6-6-0) returns home to face No. 20 Bemidji State (7-5-0) in the appetizer of a three-course home stand spanning the next three weeks at Oceanside Ice Arena. The Arizona State men's ice hockey team boasts a 5-1 record at home this season and has swept the last two home series against New Hampshire and St. Thomas. 

The home series spans over three days, starting on Wednesday, November 24, breaking for Thanksgiving, and resuming Friday, November 26. Puck drop for both games is at 7:05 p.m. MST and air on ASU Live Stream.

"We understand that we have six-straight at home and we're excited about being home for a few weeks," said head coach Greg Powers. "Now the focus is on being a much better defensive hockey team than we've been. We've been focusing on that for the last week and a half, and emphasizing things that we need to emphasize to make sure that happens and now it has to translate into tomorrow night."

The Sun Devils come off of a bye week after dropping two close games to No. 5 Quinnipiac on the road. The Sun Devils put up numbers against the top penalty kill in the country, finding power play success and allowing just a 66.66 percent PK in the first game. ASU also recorded three goals in a single period which was something QU had seen just once this season.

Three goals was also the most Quinnipiac had allowed all season, which happened only one other time in their loss to No. 6 University of North Dakota. Goaltenders Cole Brady and Ben Kraws split starts against QU and Kraws posted a career-high 49 saves in game two, just three shy of Joey Daccord's program record which was also set against the Bobcats. 

"He's been awesome," Powers said on Kraws. "He's our hardest worker in practice, and practice translates and is where you earn your teammates' respect and trust, and staff's trust and he's done that in practice. Every chance he's gotten, he has done a great job, so we couldn't be more thrilled with Ben."

Bemidji will play the Sun Devils in Tempe for the first time after defeating the Sun Devils twice in Minnesota in 2016 as part of the only two meetings between the teams. The Beavers are road warriors themselves, posting a 5-1 record this season on the road. 

ASU heads into the matchup leading the NCAA in PPG, sitting at 36.5 percent on man-up opportunities thanks to Matthew Kopperud, who has scored seven PPG for the Sun Devils and sits at seventh on the points leader board with 19 (9G-10A). His seven PPG also match his total last season, with nearly three months left to play this season. The Beavers are 19.5 percent on the PPG which has them just outside the top 30. 

ASU unveiled new military-inspired uniforms earlier in the week, which will be worn in both games against the Beavers, and feature PT42 patches, captain's bars in lieu of the "C", and custom masks for the goalies (and yes, they're as fire as they sound).

"I had told the guys in practice, you put on the PT42 at ASU, you better be going. Our guys put that on tomorrow, they better know what it means, and that it means they're representing something way bigger than themselves," Powers said of Pat Tillman's last impact and importance to ASU.

After Bemidji, the Sun Devils will host Denver at Oceanside during the first weekend of December to cap off a span of play against three top 20 opponents in the duration of three weeks.

HISTORY VS. BEMIDJI (2 games)
January 15, 2016- L, 0-5
January 16, 2016- L, 0-2