ASU hockey lived up to its No. 2 ranking last weekend.
The No. 2 Sun Devils made an Oklahoma swing, stopping in Norman to meet the No. 3 Sooners and Edmond for a two-game set with No. 11 Central Oklahoma.
ASU swept the weekend, improving to 10-0-0.
Thursday night against No. 3 Oklahoma was as advertised. The Sooners put across a goal early against ASU freshman goaltender Robert Levin, his first goal allowed since Sept. 21. From there, the teams dueled to a draw.
With time winding down late in the game and the Sooners up 1-0, sophomore defenseman and assistant captain Jordan Young found the back of the net with under 50 seconds left in the game to keep the Sun Devils from dropping their first game.
The game went into overtime, and with 10 seconds left until a shootout, senior captain Colin Hekle hit the game-winner to lift the Sun Devils to a 2-1 victory.
Coach Greg Powers said that a short week of playing on a Thursday and the travel times into Oklahoma were a factor, but the team was able to overcome it and come alive late in the game.
“Good teams find a way, and that’s what happened,” Powers said. “I just have so much faith in this team; I was never worried.”
Powers praised Levin’s performance Thursday night but stopped short of calling him the team’s official starting goalie. Senior Joe D’Elia played Friday night against Central Oklahoma, and Levin was back in net Saturday.
The two games Friday and Saturday against the Bronchos featured a lot less drama, as ASU put up multiple-goal victories, 4-2 on Friday and 4-1 on Saturday.
Friday night was a special one for Powers: his hundredth win as ASU head coach. He said he did not even think about it until players congratulated him after the game. He said he acknowledged the milestone but said he has a bigger one in mind.
“I’m after one win and that’s the national championship,” he said. “If I can get that one, I’ll be a lot happier.”
One player that Powers has talked about and has slid under the radar is senior forward Brian McGinty. Powers said McGinty had a good night Friday, after playing his worst game of the season Thursday, and loved to see him rebound.
“To see him bounce right back … just speaks to the kind of season he’s having,” Powers said.
McGinty had two goals Friday against Central Oklahoma and now has four goals, and 10 assists. After the weekend, he is third on the team with 14 points.
ASU returns to Tempe on Thursday for a two-game series with No. 7 Delaware, then a Division II game with NAU on Saturday.
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