Hockey Opens Season at No. 5 Minnesota Duluth
DULUTH, Minn. -- The Arizona State men's hockey team opens the 2022-23 season against No. 5 Minnesota Duluth in a two-game series on the road on Oct. 1-2. Saturday's puck drop is set for 4:00 p.m. MST and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. MST at AMSOIL Arena. Both games will be available to watch for a fee on NCHC.tv.
This weekend's tussle will be the first between the Bulldog and Sun Devil programs. The two nearly played a single game at Gila River Arena, former home of the Arizona Coyotes, when UMD joined Minnesota State and Clarkson at ASU's Desert Hockey Classic in 2018-19. That year UMD would go on to win its second consecutive national championship title.
ASU will face every team currently listed as a top-five program in the preseason poll during the 2022-23 season. But the Sun Devils are no stranger to opponents recognized in national polling, in fact, it's been an emphasis when creating each season.
"It's a tough schedule, but it's by design, said head coach Greg Powers. "You go and you get some wins against those guys then it's the gift that keeps on giving."
In 2021-22, ASU battled with eight ranked teams and enjoyed a five-game win streak against ranked opponents, including sweeps versus then-No. 9 Cornell and then-No. 18 Clarkson.
"I think we're ready. It doesn't matter who you're playing, in college hockey anyone can beat anyone," said alternate captain Demetrios Koumontzis. "We've learned that from day one. You prepare the same way, it doesn't matter who you're playing."
Unlike previous seasons that saw the Sun Devils invading enemy territory frequently, ASU hosts 24 home games at the newly dubbed Mullett Arena. The 10-day road trip to compete against UMD and Bemidji State (Oct. 7-8) to start this season are four of only 15 away games, including the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame game versus No. 4 North Dakota in Las Vegas.
Powers made several big moves in the offseason by adding five transfers to the roster. Forward Robert Mastrosimone made the transition from Boston University where he played in a total of 83 games and brought in 31 goals and 29 assists. Powers also snagged up-and-coming sophomore goaltender TJ Semptimphelter from Northeastern. The New Jersey native played in eight games with the Huskies, notched 211 total saves and a .934 save percentage. Adding onto the list of transfers are twins Ty Jackson and Dylan Jackson who also made the jump from Northeastern. The final transfer highlight is Lukas Sillinger from Bemidji State. All three players add strength and numbers to the group of forwards and are expected significant time in the lineup.
Eight freshmen joined the ranks this summer and add much-needed depth on the bench. Forward Charlie Schoen (Sioux City, USHL), defensemen Blake Dangos (Madison, USHL), and goaltender Gibson Homer (Chicago, USHL) are expected to play as true freshmen.
About tough schedule ahead:
- "We are certainly starting off the season by not dodging anybody. Minnesota (Duluth) with three out of the last five Frozen Fours and National Championship. They're a premier hockey program." - Greg Powers, head coach
- "I think we're ready. It doesn't matter who you're playing, in college hockey anyone can beat anyone. We've learned that from day one. You prepare the same way, it doesn't matter who you're playing." - Demetrios Koumontzis, graduate forward and alternate captain
About upcoming series:
- "To open up there (UMD), we've never played them before. This is going to tell us what we are all about and what we need to work on moving forward. It's a series that no matter the result we are going to get better from it." - Greg Powers, Head Coach
- "They've been great." - Greg Powers, head coach
- "These are all guys that want to be here for the long term. They've submerged themselves in every way. We're really excited to have those guys" Greg Powers, Head Coach
- "I think the guys have been great." - Jacob Semik, senior defenseman and alternate captain
- "So far I've been with Robert Mastrosimone and Silly (Lukas Sillinger), I think at the end of the day those two are great players and they are both super smart hockey players." - Josh Doan, sophomore forward and captain