The ASU club hockey regular season has ended, with only the national tournament remaining.
The Sun Devils finished with a record of 32-7-1 and grabbed the No. 2 seed in nationals. They begin postseason play next week, hoping to bring the first ACHA national championship to Tempe.
While every player had a role to in the team’s success, certain players deserve to be recognized for their accomplishments.
MVP: Junior forward Colin Hekle
A captain is supposed to lead the team, both on and off the ice. Junior forward Colin Hekle did just that.
He led the team with 54 points, 30 assists and was third with 24 goals. Hekle centers on the first line and was integral both at full strength as well as on the power play and penalty kill.
He even added six short-handed goals, tied for tops in the nation. Other than junior forward Kale Dolinski’s three short-handers, Hekle is the only ASU player to have even one.
As a junior, he will return next year, a scary thought for ACHA competitors. Hekle is a runaway choice for the Sun Devils’ Most Valuable Player.
Defensive Player of the Year: Senior defenseman Darcy Charrois
Defenders won’t tally the goal totals that forwards will, but they are no less important.
Senior defenseman Darcy Charrois scored six goals on the year, but he tied for the team lead in assists by a defenseman with 19.
Charrois has also been clutch. The senior also won a shootout against Liberty and scored the game-winner in overtime against UA.
His offensive play from the blue line all year has been solid. But on the defensive side of the ice, he has the ability to block shots makes the biggest impact.
The Sun Devils will miss Charrois when he graduates following the season.
Rookie of the Year: Freshman forward Stephen Collins
Not only did Stephen Collins lead all ASU freshman in goals with 25, but he trailed only junior Kale Dolinski for the team lead. Collins also led freshman in points and was second among rookies in assists.
His incredible stick work and the way he makes the puck disappear and reappear in the back of the net has earned him the nickname “The Magician” from the media. He will continue to work his magic for years to come in Tempe.
Non-Canadian MVP: Junior forward Danny McAuliffe
ASU hockey is stacked with Canadians. Excluding them, Danny McAuliffe has been the best on the team.
He leads the Americans on the team with 39 points, trailing only Hekle and Dolinski. His 26 assists top the non-Canadians and his 18 goals are second.
In ASU’s final game of the season against UA, McAuliffe scored the game-winning goal that extended the Sun Devils’ win streak over the Wildcats to 32. Like Hekle, McAuliffe will return to ASU next year.
Scrapper Award: Junior forward Troy Scott
Sometimes. even if a player doesn’t have the stats to garner attention, he still deserves recognition.
When asked who the under-the-radar scrapper on his team is, coach Greg Powers did not hesitate to point to junior forward Troy Scott.
The junior has accrued only seven points on the year, but when he does get on to the ice, he leaves nothing behind. Scott is the epitome of an effort player.
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