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Photo courtesy of Jose Ramirez
11/20/14 - Gameday Preview: Spartans Head to Utah for the Beehive Grill Showcase
By the Staff
Your Spartans are on the road again for four games in Utah this week and weekend - three of which are ranked ahead of them in the West region.

Thursday night, SJSU takes on Weber State in Ogden at 6pm Pacific, before heading to Logan for the rest of the schedule. Friday at 2 pm Pacific, they take on Northern Arizona and Saturday at 2 pm, they'll go head to head with Texas A&M. The Spartans wrap up the showcase against Arizona State Elite on Sunday at 8 am Pacific.

Jonathan Wold will be on the call for all four games on Black Dog Enterprises!

#7 Weber State University Wildcats
Weber State finds itself with the #7 spot in the rankings despite a 4-10-1 record this season. Their competition has been very strong though, with games against NAU, ASU Elite, Florida Gulf Coast and Utah.

Jesse Collins leads the charge offensively with 9 goals and 7 assists in 15 games played. The Wildcats have 3 more players in double-digits as well. They've split time in goal between Lucas Thatcher and Dalton Kay. Kay has a 1-8 record with a 6.99 GAA and a .794 SV%. Thatcher has appeared in 9 games with a 3-2 record, 4.57 GAA and .825 SV%.

#2 Norther Arizona University IceJacks
The IceJacks have continued to build momentum after last year's run to Nationals. This season, they sport an 11-2-1 record with their only losses coming to D1 Arizona. The tie was very surprising - coming in Flagstaff versus #13 Long Beach State a couple weeks ago.

Gregory Park and Tyler Giovannetti are tied for the team lead with 27 points each. Park is the sniper with 14 goals, and Giovannetti is the playmaker with 19 assists. Goaltending has been split relatively evenly with Anthony Caruso going 5-0 with a 1.50 GAA and a .944 SV%, and Seth Kollman who has gone 5-2 with a 4.39 GAA and an .874 SV%.

Texas A&M University Aggies
Despite making it to Regionals last year (where they were dispatched by the Spartans), the Aggies seem to bit struggling a bit this year. They come into the weekend with a 6-11 record. Although those numbers are a bit skewed by 4 games against D1 opponents Oklahoma and Central Oklahoma where the Aggies were outscored a combined 72-0.

As you may expect, that's wreaked havok on goaltender Ethan Palmer's stats. He is the goalie of record in all 17 games, with an 8.19 GAA and a .787 V%. Offensively, the Aggies are led by Kwinn Mazzilli who has 10 goals and 3 assists in 16 games.

#1 Arizona State University Elite Sun Devils
ASU Elite is almost sure to be the toughest opponent on the Spartans schedule this season. Although they technically did not make Regionals last season, it was due to an ineligible player, not a lack of talent. With a 12-1 record so far this year, the Sun Devils have to be considered one of the favorites for the ACHA D2 National Championship.

ASU has played a tough schedule but still boasts a lineup with 7 point-per-game players - and a few more just shy. Offensively, they are lead by Brady Morgan with 22 points in 13 games. Alex Taylor has been their starting netminder and has posted gaudy numbers: a 7-1 record with a 1.36 GAA and a .937 SV%.

The Spartans have as full of a roster as they can have at this point - only missing Keanu Deguchi. Will the Spartans be able to use this boost and put in a full 60 minute effort for each of the four games?

Three opponents are ranked ahead of the Spartans in the first ranking. Can the Spartans pull off an upset or two to solidify their ranking after a disappointing showing in San Jose a few weeks ago?

Go Spartans!
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