A hat trick, a shutout and the 37th straight win vs. your rival.
All in a night’s work for No. 1 ASU hockey.
The Sun Devils’ 5-0 victory over No. 14 UA (14-18-0) Friday night was capped by senior forward Troy Scott’s first career hat trick.
“It’s sort of overwhelming,” Scott said. “My parents don’t get a chance to come out here that much, and for them to see me get a hat trick … it was really exciting.”
Scott opened the scoring for the Sun Devils (29-1-0) then bookended the scoring with two goals in the third period.
His second goal of the game had the arena buzzing in anticipation for the third, but when ASU went on the penalty kill in the final minutes, a third seemed unlikely.
Until Scott and senior forward Kale Dolinski found themselves on the right end of a two-on-one breakaway.
“(Dolinski) gave the puck up to me unselfishly, and just drove the guy to the net, and I don’t even remember shooting the puck really, but it went it, thankfully,” Scott said.
On the defensive side, it was freshman goalie Robert Levin’s sixth shutout of the season, tying the ACHA lead. He also leads outright in save percentage and goals against average.
“The guys play amazing in front of me every night,” Levin said. “They make things simple. You see our goalies, we all have great defensive stats, it’s because of the ‘D.’”
ASU got a lot of help tonight from poor special teams play by the Wildcats. UA allowed two short-handed goals, Scott’s and senior captain Colin Hekle’s team-leading third of the season.
In the second period, ASU senior defenseman Brett Prechel was called for a five-minute major for spearing, which was accompanied by a game misconduct. UA took two penalties in that five-minute span, essentially negating its man advantage. UA also took penalties on two other occasions in which they had an extra skater.
ASU coach Greg Powers said his team exceeds in capitalizing when down short-handed.
“We’re good on the (penalty) kill, we’ve always been good on the kill and two short-handed goals, we’ll take it,” Powers said.
Powers said it wasn’t a crisp game by the Sun Devils and attributed that to the start-and-stop action of a multitude of penalties by both sides. At one point in the second period, six players — three for each team — were in the penalty box at the same time.
While Hekle scored his team-leading 20th goal and Dolinski recorded his team and ACHA-leading 59th and 60th points, the night belonged to Scott.
“You normally hear of the (senior forward Danny) McAuliffes and (Dolinskis) and Hekles scoring the goals,” Scott said. “It’s kind of nice just for one game that I can live that moment.”
ASU returns to the ice Saturday night for a chance to extend its winning streak vs. the Wildcats to 38 games. It is ASU’s final home game of the season and the puck drops at 7:30 p.m.
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