ASU Alumni hockey fans should go ahead and block December 30 and 31 off on the calendar right now. That’s when the 2nd Annual Desert Hockey Classic takes place in Prescott Valley, Arizona, hosting some of the best Division I college hockey teams.
Four teams will participate in the tournament: Arizona State University (ASU), University of Connecticut, Brown University and St. Cloud State. The Sun Devils will tackle Brown on Friday, December 30 at 7:30 PM.
Sun Devils Hockey Head Coach Greg Powers explained, "The thought process in going up to Prescott all started last summer when we went up there for the Sun Devil Caravan. There was a serious appetite from the alumni in Prescott to have us play a game or a series of games there," said Powers. "We knew our club team was going to play NAU at the Prescott Valley Event Center last year, so I wanted to gauge the success of that experience. They drew over 3,500 people for the club game, proving it was a great opportunity for us to spread our brand throughout the state. It's a great hockey town and great hockey tradition. They have a beautiful facility and feel it is a great opportunity to expose them to Division I college hockey with the Desert Hockey Classic.”
Watch the full press conference:
The Prescott Valley Event Center is the former home of the Central Hockey League’s Arizona Sundogs which played from 2006-2014. When the team discontinued play, it left behind an unfulfilled longing in the hearts of local hockey fans. But now, fans can come see hockey played by some of the best young talent in the country.
"We obviously have a great relationship with UCONN – we played in Storrs, Conn. last year and they came out for the inaugural Desert Hockey Classic, and instantly said they wanted to come back," said Powers. "St. Cloud State head coach Bob Motzko has been great to us and had us up to play them last year, and they said they would come back for a return trip. We needed another team for the classic and they could fit it in their schedule. They're a team that was ranked No. 1 in the country for the majority of the year last season. Our fans and the people up in Prescott will get to see a perennial Frozen Four contending team. With Brown, their head coach and I exchanged several emails to set up a series, and it came about they could come out during the classic and we booked it. A very historic, long-standing program with a rich tradition. We love the field and think it's exciting.”
Powers said the organization is hard at work trying to get an ice facility at ASU, but until that happens, they want to spread the event throughout the state.Afterwards, Powers, Satish 'Catfish' Athelli and Brad Fain offered their perspectives on what the Desert Hockey Classic will bring to the community:
Read the full press release from ASU.
Friday, December 30
St. Cloud State vs. UCONN at 4 PM
Sun Devils vs. Brown at 7 PM.
Saturday, December 31
Game 1: 4 PM, teams TBD
Game 2: 7 PM, Sun Devils vs. TBD
Each ticket will allow entry to both games on a single day.
Tickets start at $14.50 and can be purchased here: http://www.ticketmaster.com/promo/psj2sk