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Ohio forward Diego Breckenridge gets ready to shoot the puck into Iowa State University's goal to score Ohio's second goal of the game on Dec. 4, 2015. Ohio won 5-3. 

Hockey: Q&A ahead of Arizona State series

The Post reached out to Arizona State's student newspaper, The State Press, to talk about Ohio's upcoming series against the NCAA Division I Sun Devils.

Ohio’s weekend series against NCAA Division I Arizona State is an opportunity for Ohio, which plays at a club level, to face a varsity program. 

The series is particularly different because the Sun Devils played in the same American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) last season before making the jump up this past fall. 

The Post reached out to an Arizona State hockey writer who covers the team for the school’s newspaper, The State Press, to talk about the matchup. Below are excerpts from the conversation. 

The Post: With this being a transition year (for Arizona State), playing D-I opponents without a fully D-I roster, have you seen some growing pains in terms of a team that’s not fully scholarship players? 

The State Press’ Justin Toscano: (Arizona State coach) Greg Powers will tell you the truth, he’ll say, “I’d rather lose now. We’re not doing well right now, but we’re going to be when these guys are sophomores and juniors and seniors." You can definitely see the talent, though. That’s one thing that surprised, is that even in the first year (of NCAA D-I), coach Powers and his staff got guys that embrace being part of something new, you know? Guys that could’ve gone elsewhere.

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Post: How would you say the former ACHA players have received these new NCAA recruits? These recruits are coming in and getting scholarship money and most of the playing time when in previous years, the club players had to pay to play. 

JT: I think they get it. They get that the D-I team is going to be the D-I team. It’s going to be D-I players, D-I prospects, D-I recruits, you know? But with a leader like Greg Powers, I don’t think there’s any bashing going on within the team, where the ACHA guys are jealous of the new guys.

Post: ASU is currently on quite a losing streak. Now seeing ACHA Ohio on the schedule, is this a weekend where the Sun Devils are trying to get some momentum back? Is this their weekend to break the (13-game) losing streak? 

JT: They know anything can happen on any given night, but I think it’s a little break in the schedule. Ohio’s a good team, but it’s a little break in the sense that they don’t have to face Yale or UConn again. It’s going to be a little more mellow on that end but I definitely think there will be a sense of urgency for them to kind of get back on track.

Post: If the highly improbable were to happen, do you think that would have any impact character-wise/confidence-wise for ASU to lose to a club hockey program? 

JT: It’s kind of tricky because (Ohio) is ACHA, but it’s a team that would’ve competed with ASU last year. I think Ohio can compete with ASU on Friday and Saturday. It just takes some converting on the other team’s mistakes. ASU has made those mistakes and has left the door open, … but since Ohio is an ACHA team, I don’t want to say (losing) would be embarrassing, but it would be a knock on confidence. 


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