|Follow PSU Men's Hockey:||Follow @PennStateMHKY|
GAME DAY CENTRAL
Video | Audio | Live Stats
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
GLENDALE, Ariz. – The Penn State men’s ice hockey team makes its longest trip of the season as they head west to battle Arizona State on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Friday’s contest will begin at 10 p.m. eastern time and will air on the PAC-12 Network and online at Pac-12 Live while Saturday’s game is set for 9:05 p.m. eastern time and will be streaming online for free HERE.
THIS WEEK’S MATCHUP
- Penn State heads to the West Coast for just the fourth time in program history and the first visit since traveling to Alaska-Anchorage during the 2015-16 season. Penn State has also visited Air Force (2013-14) and was part of the Brice Alaska Goal Rush Tournament in 2014-15.
- This marks the first time the Nittany Lions will travel to Arizona State as the teams meet for just the third and fourth time with Penn State holding the 2-0-0 advantage in the all-time series.
- PSU swept ASU last season at Pegula Ice Arena winning 7-4 and 8-0. Then-freshman Denis Smirnov recorded a hat-trick during the 7-4 victory and finished the weekend with four goals and one assist for five points. Chris Funkey secured his first collegiate shutout the following night.
BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG STAGE
- This weekend’s games mark the sixth different NHL venue that Penn State will play a hockey game. The Nittany Lions are 11-12-0 all-time at NHL venue’s enjoying the most success at Joe Louis Arena where they went 3-1-0.
- Other NHL buildings the Nittany Lions have competed in are CONSOL Energy Center (3-5-0), Madison Square Garden (0-2-0), Wells Fargo Center (3-2-0) and the Xcel Energy Center (2-2-0).
SCOUTING ARIZONA STATE
- Arizona State is in just its third season as an NCAA Division I program and enter the weekend with a 2-6-2 overall record. The Sundevils finished the 2016-17 season 10-19-3 and are just 17-47-7 overall since becoming a Division I program.
- This marks the first games the Sun Devils will play at Gila River Arena this season after going 1-3-0 in the Coyotes barn during the 2016-17 campaign. ASU will entertain Quinnipiac back here at Gila on January 20th to total three games at the NHL rink for the 2017-18 season. The Sun Devils are 2-6-0 all-time at Gila River Arena.
- The Sun Devils return eight of their top-10 scorers from last season’s roster, but lose a pair of 20-point players in Robbie Baillargeon (9-12-21) and Wade Murphy (9-11-20) who finished second and third on the team, respectively, in points last season.
- ASU does return its leading scorer in Anthony Croston who was the only Sun Ddevil to record double-digit goals with 10 while adding 11 assists for 21 points.
- Arizona State is also without the services of top goaltender Robert Levin who graduated last season, but they return a pair of goaltenders who split time during the 2016-17 season as they used a three goaltender system.
- Joey Daccord has been the go to net-minder this season starting all but one game with a 2-5-2 record, .919 save percentage and a 2.76 goals against average. His save percentage is good for 20th nationally while his goals against average ranks 40th.
- On offense, defenseman Jakob Stridsberg leads the team with five goals and seven points through the opening ten games after finishing last season with nine goals and seven assists for 16 points.
- The Sun Devils struggle on the power-play ranking 58th out of 60 NCAA Division I teams converting just five-of-44 man-advantage opportunities (.114). However, their PK has fared better ranking 23rd in the nation at 81.4 percent (35-for-43).
- With his team-leading seventh goal of the season last Friday night, junior Andrew Sturtz moved into solo third on the Penn State all-time points list with 78.
- This achievement came just one game after he set the Penn State all-time goals list with the 46th of his career passing Casey Bailey during a 7-5 victory over Mercyhurst.
- Classmate Chase Berger assisted on the goal last Friday giving him 43 for his career moving into a tie with Taylor Holstrom ‘15 for fifth on the all-time assists list and just one shy of teammate Erik Autio for fourth with 44. Autio is also just one assist shy of tying Luke Juha ‘16 for third on the all-time assists list and first on the all-time defenseman assist list.
- Berger’s 28 career goals are also just 1 shy of David Glen ‘16 for sixth on the Penn State all-time goals list while his 71 points place him alone in sixth on the Penn State all-time points list.
- Freshman Cole Hults saw his career-high eight-game point-streak (two goals, nine assists) snapped this past weekend at Notre Dame as he was held off the scoresheet both nights. His 11 points remain the third most in the Big Ten amongst defensemen while his nine assists tie for second in the conference among blue-liners.
- Hults currently leads the nation in defenseman scoring by freshman and is tied for fifth overall for blue-liners. His 11 points also rank tied for third in the nation in overall freshman scoring.
- Hults’ eight-game point-streak tied the program record by a defenseman set last season by Trevor Hamilton. The all-time program record for a point-streak is ten games held by both Smirnov and David Goodwin ‘17, each set last season.
YOU CAN’T SCORE IF YOU PASS
- Junior Andrew Sturtz currently leads the team with seven goals to rank first in the Big Ten and tied for 12th nationally. His 14 points are good for tied third in the conference and tied-13th in the nation.
FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE
- Sophomore Nikita Pavlychev scored the game-winning goal two Saturday’s ago against Mercyhurst and followed that up with a snipe against Notre Dame last Friday for a four-game goal/point-streak marking the longest of his career
- Pavlychev’s five goals this season are good for tied second on the team and tied for seventh in the Big Ten.
- Penn State returns home and resumes Big Ten play as they host Michigan State for a pair of contests next Friday and Saturday evening.