The ASU hockey team did not show any rink rust entering its first game of the season against San Diego State.
The Sun Devils (1-0) decided to end this one early, scoring their first goal 63 seconds into the game, and never looking back. They finished with a 12-1 lopsided victory on opening night against San Diego State (1-1).
Coach Greg Powers said he was happy with the depth in the roster.
“In games like that, you try to get your third and fourth line out there as much as possible, and tonight our fourth line was probably our best line,” Powers said. “The takeaways (from this game) are we’re deep, we’re good and that these guys need to stay focused and come back at it tomorrow.”
Last year’s leading goal-scorer senior forward Kale Dolinski was the first to light the lamp and he was followed in the first period by freshman forward Sean Murphy, who added a pair.
It didn’t get any better after the first period for the Aztecs. With 13:17 remaining in the first period, they trailed by two goals — the closest they came.
The lone bright spot for SDSU came with under a minute left in the first period. Down 3-0, last year’s leading scorer among returners, sophomore Travis Sevilla found the puck in the neutral zone, skated down the ice and beat the Sun Devil goalie for the lone SDSU goal.
Most of the game, ASU treated the back of the net like a bullseye. Fourteen different Sun Devils registered a point, led by a pair of goals each from Murphy and freshman forward Chris Burkemper. ASU finished by outshooting the Aztecs 51-18.
On the assists side, it was freshman forward Zach Holstrom and senior Brett Prechel who led the way with three each. Holstrom said nerves played a role in his first college game, but he overcame them.
“I didn’t really know what to expect with the speed of the game,” Holstrom said. “It took me a bit to get going, but once I did, it started working out for me.”
Senior goaltender Joe D’Elia played the entire game in net, but Powers said earlier this week that he is still unsure who the starter will be moving forward.
D’Elia did produce a scare when he appeared to be slashed inadvertently in the leg by an SDSU stick. He hit the ground and the trainer helped him to his feet, but he remained in the game.
He finished with 17 saves and Powers said he is not hurt.
Additional Game Notes
– Defenseman Jordan Young saw a good amount of ice time and scored a goal in the second period. He hasn’t been practicing recently and missed the maroon and gold scrimmage.
– Seven different players recorded a point in their Sun Devil debut: newcomers Murphy, Burkemper, and Holstrom, along with freshmen Jarrod Levos, Patrick Yudez, and Troy Hoban, as well as sophomore Chris Blessing.
– Senior captain Colin Hekle did not record a point. He scored 55 points in 38 games last season.
– ASU and SDSU meet again tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. at Oceanside Ice Arena in Tempe.
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