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Arizona hockey: ASU to host Wildcats at Gila River Arena in October

Talk about a huge step up for hockey in this state

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

As part of ASU's rise to NCAA Division-1 hockey, the Arizona Wildcats will actually benefit from it as well. The in-state rivals will faceoff in Gila River Arena, home of the Arizona Coyotes, on Saturday, October 3rd.

The Coyotes and Gila River Arena will host a total of six college hockey games in the 2015-16 season, which include the first NCAA games to be played in Arizona since 1985.

This is a short-term benefit for the Arizona hockey program, as ASU's gradual transition to a full-fledged NCAA D-1 member will likely leave the Wildcats in the dust not only in the state, but in the rest of the ACHA. But maybe this game in October will open some eyes not only at Arizona, but across the Pac-12, and get the ball moving on forming a Western Division in the NCAA.

For now, we'll have to settle for this one game. It is the same day the football team is at Stanford, so there aren't any excuses to not show up for this.