ASU hockey’s fourth line lifts Sun Devils to national tournament semifinals

NEWARK, Del.– The champs have been dethroned.

 

Minot State won the 2013 national title, and it was ASU hockey’s fourth line that sent the Beavers home in 2014.

The trio stole the show, scoring all four goals and sending ASU to the final four of the national tournament with a 4-0 win over Minot State.

Senior Troy Scott scored the first two goals of the game, assisted by his linemates senior David Jantzie and freshman Patrick Yudez on both occasions. Jantzie took the third one unassisted and deposited an empty-netter with less than a second left in the game.

 

 

“It’s a collective group effort,” Jantzie said. “We’re comfortable with each other, we’ve been playing together a long time, so it’s been really nice to get acquainted.”

They were listed as the fourth line on the depth chart, but they have actually started both games in the tournament so far.

ASU coach Greg Powers said that games like Sunday are why they have been starting.

“We knew that they could do that,” Powers said. “Every shift they bring energy. In nationals, that’s what you need. It’s contagious.”

Coming into the game, Sunday’s quarterfinal was billed as a battle between arguably the two best goalies in the ACHA: ASU freshman Robert Levin and Minot State senior Wyatt Waselenchuk. And it lived up to its hype.

Levin was spectacular. He blocked every shot sent his way and recorded his second straight shutout. In his first appearance in the national tournament, he has not allowed a goal in either game.

Waselenchuk stood on his head for the Beavers but ASU’s fourth line was able to exploit his weakness.

As good as Waselenchuk is high with the glove, he gave up a lot of rebounds low off the pad, and with 1:50 left in the opening period, Scott made him pay.

Jantzie started the play with a low missile from the top of the right circle. It deflected off Waselenchuk’s pads and trickled toward the other circle. Scott motored across the ice and and backhanded it past a sprawling Waselenchuck. It got just over his extended stick and in the net for the first goal of the game.

The second goal was very similar to the first. Yudez found Jantzie, who fired the shot. Scott collected the rebound and put it in the open net.

“The good thing about being the fourth line is that there’s not really a lot of pressure to get points from you on a daily basis,” Scott said.

The Sun Devils collected nine total points offensively. Excluding an assist from senior captain Colin Hekle on Jantzie’s empty-netter, Scott, Jantzie and Yudez had all of them.

Scott and Jantzie had two goals each, and Yudez had two assists. Yudez said it didn’t matter to him that he did not score a goal.

“As long as they’re scoring, that’s fine by me,” Yudez said.

Scott was quick to jump in.

“We owe him something, he’s the one creating all the plays out there,” Scott said. “We gotta get him like an extra ice cream or something tonight.”

Additional notes

– Senior forward Brian McGinty served the first game of a two-game suspension for his fighting disqualification Sunday night. Freshman forward Chris Burkemper took his place.

– The two Sun Devils who left Friday’s first-round game with injury showed no adverse effects Sunday. Both freshman forward Sean Murphy and sophomore defenseman Brett Blomgren played normally.

– ASU’s semifinal game is Monday afternoon against No. 5 Stony Brook. Puck drop is scheduled for 2 p.m. Arizona time.

Reach the reporter at justin.emerson@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @J15Emerson