ASU Hockey takes on Penn State this weekend at Gila River Arena

By Will Everett // NCAA Hockey Beat Writer for Blaze Sports

Arizona State defenseman Joey Ratts winds up to take a shot on goal against NAIT // (Photo: Weston DeWitt / Blaze Sports)

GLENDALE, AZ  —  The Arizona State Sun Devils look to come out strong after their weekend off against the defending Big-10 conference champions, the Penn State Nittany Lions, at Gila River Arena this weekend.

This will be ASU’s first contest against a ranked team since they played No. 19 Air Force in October, in which they lost both games.

The two teams share something interesting in common: they are both relatively new programs.

Penn State become an NCAA recognized team playing as an independent in 2012 after playing at the ACHA level for many decades. It only took four years for the Nittany Lions to capture a conference championship, beating Wisconsin last year to punch their ticket to the Frozen Four. where they were defeated by Denver University.

“Penn State has quickly turned itself into a nationally prominent program,” said head coach Greg Powers. “This is a tremendous opportunity for all hockey fans in the Valley to see a great Big Ten program on our home ice out at Gila River Arena, in what should be a great environment. This will be a tremendous challenge for our team, and we look forward to meeting it head-on.”

Arizona State forward Gage Hough tries to dangle around the NAIT defender // (Photo: Weston DeWitt / Blaze Sports)

Last year, ASU and Penn State met in Nittany Lion territory. It was both teams’ first meeting since becoming part of the NCAA. Penn State, who was ranked No. 10 at the time, dominated the weekend winning both games 7-4 and 8-0.

In their last home series against the University of Alabama-Huntsville, the Sun Devils split the weekend, winning the first game 3-2, but losing a close game the next night.

Puck drop on Friday is set for 8:00 p.m. and Saturday’s matchup is set for 7:00 p.m. You can listen to both games on Blaze Radio.

Friday: Weston DeWitt and Ethan Schmidt (Blaze Radio Online Mixlr)

Saturday: Will Everett and Seth Askelson (Blaze Radio Online Mixlr)

Will Everett is Blaze Radio’s beat writer for the NCAA Hockey team at Arizona State. You can reach out to him at weveret1@asu.edu or follow Will on Twitter @TheRealWillyEvs.

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