A while back we wrote about Arizona State University’s hockey program being one of the best kept hockey secrets in Arizona. Since then they have continued to play excellently, winning every game except 1 and they were recently voted number 1 in the ACHA with 39 of 39 votes. In addition to their prowess on the ice, they are also becoming increasingly popular with fans and the media.
The ACHA does weekly posts about the coverage of their teams, and the number one ASU team is by far the most covered team in the league thanks in part to the great work of our friends at House of Sparky and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. In fact, on the ACHA's recent "Around The Boards", a weekly post on the ACHA website that compiles links to stories about ACHA teams, 59 percent of the links were about the Sun Devils.
In addition to the increased news coverage, the Maroon and Gold have also been drawing more fans than usual. Thursday, November 8th's redemption game against Oakland drew a surprisingly large crowd and was one of the largest I've seen at a game where the team didn't play the University of Arizona Wildcats. The following day's crowd for a game against Colorado was also surprisingly large, especially when you consider the fact the ASU was playing a team that everyone knew they were going to beat.
According to ASU Hockey, attendance is up 27 percent compared to last year. They attribute this partly to an on campus awareness campaign with the State Press, increased social media presence, a competitive team, and the NHL lockout. Currently, ASU has a goal of drawing 300+ fans to every game and 500+ to games against the University of Arizona.
The Sun Devils were on the road this past weekend taking on Penn State, an NCAA Division 1 team. Penn State gave ASU their first loss of the season, although ASU came back and beat the Nittany Lions in the second game of the series. The win was a historic one in a season shaping up to possibly be the best ever for the Sun Devils.
ASU's next home game is on Friday December 7th when they take on Robert Morris at the Oceanside Ice Arena. The team's complete schedule can be found here.