Although this series has no post-season significance for the Gophers, it will be a good home ice test against a ranked team going into the B1G tourney next week. In 4 seasons, coach Greg Powers has transformed ASU from Arizona who? to a #12th ranked Sun Devils team with a hot goalie, an NCAA leading goal scorer and a travel budget the size of Sun Devils Stadium.
Netminder Joey Daccord is tied for most Ws and shutouts in the NCAA. Throw in a shot of Johnny Walker who leads the nation in goals scored (23) and SOG, and ASU could be quite a challenge for Gophers this weekend who are 5-5-0 in their last 10 games. ASU is currently on a 5 game winning streak.
The Gophers have relied heavily on their PP this season which sets the stage for a unique special teams battle between the Gophers PP ranked 6th in the NCAA @ 25.4% vs ASU's 9th ranked PK% @ 86.4%. I expect a very fast Sun Devils team out of the gate. IMO a hard forecheck is a key to success for the Gophers against an ASU team ranked 10th in total goals scored. Go Gophers!