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No. 16 Arizona State Hockey Welcomes No. 2 Denver at Mullett Arena

After sweeping Stonehill College to start their eight game home stand in a two game series this past weekend at Mullett Arena, Arizona State improves to 6-1-1 on the season. Stonehill fell to 0-9 on the season but kept both games in Tempe to one score games. The Skyhawks lost 5-4 in overtime and 3-2 to the Sun Devils. Freshman defenseman Anothony Dowd’s overtime winner was his first career collegiate goal. The New Jersey native has three points to open the year. Senior assistant captain Matthew Kopperud was clutch yet again delivering another game-winning goal in the 3-2 win. Kopperud leads all college skaters in game-winning goals with four. Head coach Greg Powers made a number of lineup changes for the two game series. One of those changes had Sophomore goalie Gibson Homer get the nod in between the pipes and had 49 saves over the two wins combined. Homer improves to a 2-1 record on the season with a .911 save percentage. This series gave skaters Matthew Romer, Cade Alami, Tucker Ness, Cole Helm and Cole Gordon opportunities to suit up and play. Gordon, the freshman from Minnesota, scored his first collegiate goal shorthanded in the 3-2 win. 

The Sun Devils have a tough task ahead of themselves as they take on the University of Denver this week. The games will take place November 10th and 11th at Mullett Arena. The No. 2 ranked Pioneers are also 6-1-1 on the season with a notable win over No. 3 Boston College. Currently, Juniors Massimo Rizzo and Jack Devine are the top two scorers in college hockey. Rizzo, a seventh-round selection by the Carolina Hurricanes in 2019, has 17 points. Devine, a seventh-round selection by the Florida Panther in 2022, is right behind with 16 points. Both players are propelling Denver’s success this season. ASU could see either goalies freshman Freddie Halyk or junior Matt Davis. Halyk has a 3-0 record while Davis has a 3-1-1 record on the season. For Arizona State, junior goalie TJ Semptimphelter is the likely starter having a 4-1 record and a 1.98 GAA (Goals Against Average). The Sun Devils will need the New Jersey netminder to be sharp as Denver averages 4.88 GPG (Goals Per Game). Graduate student Brian Chambers and Kopperud are tied for the team lead in points with eight each. Chambers leads the teams in assists with seven while Kopperud leads the team in goals with five. 

Last season ASU lost to Denver 3-2 and 5-2, where they were ranked No. 1 at the time. However, Arizona State doesn’t take the underdog role lightly. Last season the Sun Devils defeated No. 2 Minnesota and No. 6 North Dakota. To open the season this year they upset No. 15 Merrimack as well. Can Arizona State remain perfect at home ice this season? Or will Pioneers continue their winning ways against the Sun Devils? Only time will tell…

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