ASU men's hockey faces Colgate in last games of three-week road trip

The Sun Devils hope to establish a win streak in Colgate

ASU men’s hockey (1-4-1) broke its four-game losing spell last Saturday with a 5-4 shootout win over Nebraska-Omaha. Now, the team is on the last leg of its road trip and plans to start a more positive streak against Colgate (2-2-2) this week in Hamilton, New York. 

Colgate is yet another opponent with a strong presence at home as both of its wins have been on its own ice.

“We played everybody in the last two years on the road and we’re not intimidated by any atmosphere or any environment or any opponent,” head coach Greg Powers said. “Home or away, our guys embrace and have learned how to embrace playing on the road. They got to feel good about themselves on the road last Saturday."

Last season, the Sun Devils played Colgate at home and split the series, winning the first game 5-4 and losing the second 2-3.

“I don’t think it’ll be any different for us. Our preparation is pretty much the game, " redshirt junior right wing Louie Rowe said. "We get to even go a day earlier and get another skate on their ice and kind of get acclimated to the east coast."

For ASU, starting the game off strong has been a major issue. The team has scored first in only one of its six games and in total has been outshot 68-40 in all first periods.

“We’re trying to figure out what works best for our team to be prepared – what individuals need to do to keep themselves prepared,” Rowe said. “It’s more or less an individual preparation than once we hit the ice ... we all have got to be on the same page and we all got to be ready to go … the start is something we’re starting to figure out now. I don’t see it being an issue in the future.”

Not only does ASU want to establish a better all-around game from the beginning, but they also want to get ahead on the scoreboard early on.

“(We need to) score first instead of being the one getting scored on,” sophomore defenseman Brinson Pasichnuk said. “I think it just completely shifts the game when you’re the one that scores first instead of vice versa.”

ASU has been outscored 8-6 total in the first period, and 8-4 in the second. 

The Sun Devils have struggled to catch up in their games so far, posting only a 0-2-1 record after being down in the first period, and when they are behind after the second period, they are 0-3-0.

This isn’t an issue with any particular system, but more with the overall consistency throughout the entirety of the game.

“It’s just a preparation thing …. I think the way we finished against Omaha, the guys have to find a way to just start where they left off,” Powers said. “They were really good in that second and third period and playing with energy and just that level of desperation that they need to play with. They have to play with that from the first drop of the puck."

As far as individual scoring goes, there is a five-way tie for five points on the team. Junior defenseman Jakob Stridsberg leads the team with three goals and two assists and junior centerman Anthony Croston is closest to him with two goals and three assists. 

The three other point leaders all have one goal and four assists. These leaders include redshirt junior left wing Dylan Hollman, sophomore centerman Brett Gruber and Rowe. 

However, the team’s point totals may soon change when the Sun Devils take on Colgate on Friday, Oct. 27 at 4 p.m and Saturday, Oct. 28 at 1 p.m.

Reach the reporter at or follow @paige_burnell on Twitter.   

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