The ASU hockey team has not only scored first in every home game, it has not trailed in a game in Tempe all season.
The No. 1 Sun Devils didn’t want to break that streak Thursday, and scored first and never gave up the lead en route to a 6-2 victory over No. 18 Colorado State (3-9-0).
ASU (14-0-0) once again leaned on its captain, as senior forward Colin Hekle scored two goals and had two assists. His first was ASU’s first, a power-play goal with 8:14 left in the first period. Also having four points on the night was senior forward Kale Dolinski, netting a goal and assisting on three others.
“They’re doing what they’re supposed to do,” coach Greg Powers said. “I expect them to do it, and more importantly, they expect it out of themselves.”
The pair also connected on a short-handed goal, the third time one has scored on an assists from the other while on the penalty kill.
“We get a penalty, and those two guys are licking their chops on the bench,” Powers said.
Dolinski padded his ACHA lead in assists and points, with 22 and 33, respectively. Senior forward Brian McGinty had three points on the night, with two goals and assist.
ASU capitalized early on CSU’s mistakes, scoring its first two goals while on the power play. Hekle’s was with the man advantage, as was McGinty’s first of the night, just 33 seconds into the first period.
The Rams answered back six minutes later with a goal of their own, setting up an exciting finish. Exciting isn’t exactly what ASU had in mind, as the Sun Devils scored the next three goals to pull away. Each team added one more each to bring the game to its 6-2 final.
Of all the goals scored, the most memorable goal of the night goes to freshman forward Eric Rivard. He skated for the first time in an ASU sweater Thursday night, and it was a debut to remember. With 6:07 left in the second period, Rivard scored his first goal of his collegiate career, sliding the puck past CSU’s goaltender.
“It felt good, it was good. It’s just a lot of fun being out there,” Rivard said. “I feel really comfortable today. I played a lot of juniors and stuff, so the speed of the game– I feel pretty adjusted to it.
Powers said scoring is something that can be expected of Rivard as the season progresses.
“He’s just a mucker,” Powers said of Rivard. “He’s just a big, physical, skilled mucker. He’s really good down low, he’s really good around the net, and that’s exactly what you saw.”
ASU plays another Colorado school, the CU Buffaloes Friday and Saturday in Tempe at 7:30 p.m.
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