The Northern Arizona University IceJacks hockey teams take on Arizona State University this weekend at the Prescott Valley Events Center.

NAU’s Division 2 team battles the Sun Devils at 7 p.m., Friday Jan. 22, and the Division 3 team plays the Sun Devils at 7 p.m., Saturday Jan. 23.

Kris Walsh, head coach of the IceJacks’ Division 3 team, said facing ASU in Prescott Valley should bring good crowds and strengthen the reputation of NAU’s hockey teams.

“Hockey is the fastest growing sport in North America and there is a big boom underway in the southwest,” said Walsh, an alumnus who played on the IceJacks from 2000-2002. “The American Collegiate Hockey Association is a feeder organization for the NHL and this weekend’s games will keep our teams on the map.”

An IceJacks player recently put NAU on the international map after being selected to play on the American Collegiate Hockey Association’s Division 2 Select Team. Senior Dillon Benjamin, an engineering major, played five games during a European tour that wrapped up Jan. 6.

Hockey has been part of campus life since 1971, when a club team was formed by chemistry professor Gerald Caple following the completion of Flagstaff’s Jay Lively Ice Arena.

Tickets for the games this weekend in Prescott Valley are still available and can be purchased here. President Rita Cheng will host a sold-out banquet for local NAU alumni prior to Friday’s game.