ASU hockey causes devastation in tornado alley

Oklahoma may not have tornadoes to worry about this time of year, but there was another disaster that occurred in the Sooner State this week.

The ASU hockey team made a clean sweep of both Central Oklahoma and Oklahoma after a parallel 6-1 victory on Saturday evening over the Sooners.

The Sun Devils shut out No. 15 Central Oklahoma (8-8) Thursday night and crushed No. 6 Oklahoma 6-1 on Friday and Saturday. It becomes the first time ASU has swept the series in Oklahoma in program history.

“It feels good,” coach Greg Powers said. “We’re 18-0, and we’re feeling good about the direction we’re heading.”

Saturday started off faster than the night before for ASU, as junior captain and weekend star Colin Hekle scored his third goal in three games.

It wasn’t much longer into the first period before Hekle tacked on his fourth goal of the weekend to put the Sun Devils up 2-0 early.

“We played our game to a ‘T,’” Hekle said. “We feel pretty good winning 12-2 in two games.”

Hekle gives credit and applauds the guys who had to step up with ASU sophomore forward Liam Norris out for the series.

“Liam is a huge loss for us, and you can’t replace him,” Hekle said. “Guys just did a little more. … Everyone bought into the system.”

One Sun Devil who stepped up was junior goaltender Kyle Dietriech, who filled in flawlessly for starting junior goaltender Joe D’Elia, saving 20 of 21 shots.

“I believe in myself,” Dietriech said. “First time all year, I got to play against a good team. I finally got to prove what I (could) do.”

The six goals scored last night involved six different Sun Devils, but Saturday night was a different story. Junior forward Brian McGinty led ASU with three goals and his first hat trick of the season. McGinty’s breakout game with three goals equaled a third of his total this season.

The ASU hockey program has broken several milestones this season thus far, from best start to a season, being ranked No. 1 for first time in school history and now the sweep in Oklahoma.

“This season has been a series of firsts in many ways, and we want to keep that going,” Powers said. “I don’t feel like we’ve peaked.”

The Sun Devils get to heal all wounds and bruises for two weeks before their next series. That series will be against NCAA D-I Penn State (6-3), and would be the best time for ASU to peak.

“We’re not going there just to say we played Penn State,” Powers said. “We’re going there to win.

“We haven’t lost, and we’re not going to want to give that up.”

 

Reach the reporter at mterrel@asu.edu