The rivalry is renewed, and it is arguably bigger than ever.
Saturday will be a historic night for The Arizona State University, officially marking the first time their hockey players will play a game as members of NCAA Division I at Gila River Arena.
For the boys from Tucson, there would be nothing better than to spoil ASU’s special night.
With much hype about the Sun Devils, including their new jerseys and an anticipated large crowd, Arizona head coach Chad Berman says all the pressure will be on the home team when the puck drops at 7:00 p.m. MST.
For this reason, Berman emphasized the first ten minutes of this game will be a battle of emotions and it is critical his team stays focused on the task at hand.
Last year, Arizona State dominated the season series, winning each of the eight matchups often in overwhelming fashion.
With the Sun Devils outscoring the Wildcats 37 goals to seven in 2014-2015, it is critical that Arizona starting goalie Garrett Patrick builds confidence early and goal scorers such as forward Roy Grandov capitalize on opportunities.
A key to the Wildcats maintaining a steady start will also be staying out of the penalty box and not taking unnecessary penalties, something that was a common trend last season.
“We must play disciplined and attack with numbers by staying patient in our systems,” added Berman.
With the elite status and national rise of Arizona State hockey, an upset Saturday night could potentially mark the biggest victory ever in Arizona Wildcats hockey.
A live stream will be available here: http://pac-12.com/live/arizona-state-university?DB_OEM_ID=30300.