With the ASU hockey season beginning in two weeks, coach Greg Powers does not know who will be in the net for this year’s opener.
“We’re going to have three really good goalies,” Powers said. “We’re returning a third-team All-American and then the two guys that end up being behind him are going to be guys that are capable of stepping in right away and taking over a starting role.”
The All-American is senior Joe D’Elia, who led the team to a 26-5 record, allowing only 2.38 goals per game last season. Behind D’Elia, the Sun Devils made it to the Final Four of the ACHA national tournament.
Despite last season’s success, D’Elia’s job is by no means guaranteed. In competition for the starting net minder position are highly touted recruits Robert Levin and Jordan Gluck, as well as walk-on Lucas Felbel.
All four goalies have shown the capability to start at the Division I level, and Powers said he does not know who is even in the lead at this point.
“It could be anybody,” Powers said. “(Wednesday) we have a goalie session … and that’s going to have a big bearing on what goes on. It’s tough to say. At this point, I honestly can’t tell you.”
Only one can start, and only three can make the team, something that Powers said does not bother him.
“It’s a good problem to have,” he said.
The Sun Devils play a maroon and gold scrimmage on Thursday, after which the roster will be more clear, and practice begins next week.
Newcomers continue to impress
Powers did an excellent job of recruiting over the summer, and it is starting to show. Through the team’s preseason camp, it is the newcomers who have impressed in the team’s informal scrimmages.
Last week, forward Michael Cummings netted two goals in a scrimmage, and this week it was forward Chris Blessing who showed off some impressive stick-work to sneak the puck into the net.
However, Powers said he does not know who has been the most impressive.
“It’s a different guy every day,” Powers said. “We’re happy with all of them. They’re all really good players.”
Returners hope to step up roles
With the departure of last year’s seniors, it is not only the newcomers looking to fill those positions. Some returners have looked good in the early goings of camp.
Senior Brett Prechel was granted an extra year of eligibility by the ACHA, and this year is using it to move from forward to defense. Last week, he showed off an impressive move at center ice to break up a potential breakaway.
Powers didn’t mention anyone by name but said he looks forward to the competition between the returners and newcomers.
“Returners are always looking to improve on their roles and their responsibilities,” Powers said. “It’s going to be tough, because we’re so deep.”
The maroon and gold scrimmage is Thursday at 8 p.m. at Oceanside Ice Arena. The season begins Sept. 20 at Oceanside against San Diego State.
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