In the words of a musical genius, the late Glenn Frey of one of music’s greatest bands, The Eagles, “There’s a new kid in town” and that new kid, the Arizona State University Sun Devils, will visit the Tsongas Center Friday and Saturday evenings for a pair of non-conference games against the River Hawks (ranked 8th in the nation, 1st in Hockey East).
Yes, you read that correctly.
They play hockey at Arizona State University.
The young Sun Devils roster (15 freshmen) is comprised of players who hail from 12 states and four Canadian provinces and are in their first season as an NCAA Division I program.
ASU has not enjoyed success in the win column, compiling a 5-19-0 overall record. They are 3-19-0 against Division I competition but have taken on all comers from Alaska-Anchorage to the upcoming series at UMass Lowell.
In common Hockey East opponents, the Sun Devils have played against the University of Connecticut three times this season going 0-3-0 while the River Hawks are 0-2-0 against UConn this year.
Against nationally ranked teams, ASU is 0-5-0 while UML is 3-2-3.
The Sun Devils are led in scoring by freshman forward Jordan Masters. The native of Rochester, New York has compiled 19 points on 8 goals and 11 assists.
Masters is followed by freshman defenseman, Joey Raats, who has 14 points on 2 goals, 12 assists. Raats hails from Las Vegas, Nevada.
In goal, another freshman, Ryland Pashovitz has seen the majority of the action going 4-12-0 in 16 starts. Pashovitz came to ASU by way of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and carries a .910 save percentage and a 3.43 goals against average.
UMass Lowell continues to be led, offensively, by senior Adam Chapie and sophomore CJ Smith. Each has 23 points.
Chapie has scored 10 goals and assisted on 13 others and has garnered five points in his last three games.
Smith has nine goals and 14 assists. Twenty-two of Smith’s points have come in his last 18 games.
River Hawk goaltender Kevin Boyle is having an outstanding season with a 15-5-4 record, a .938 save percentage (4th best in the nation), and 1.70 goals against average (5th in the nation). In his last outing, Boyle made 20 saves in a winning effort versus defending NCAA champion Providence College.
Not only can fans expect another night of outstanding college hockey at the Tsongas Center on Friday, it will also be River Hawks Strong Night, an annual occurrence that honors survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing. This year, UMass Lowell will honor Jeff Bauman, who has inspired all of us with his courage, determination, and heroism, since the attack. Other survivors (to be named) will also be honored throughout the evening.
Reprinted with permission from The Lowell Sun.
Follow Shawn Hutcheon on Twitter at @ShawnHutcheon.