The ASU men's hockey team exploded for seven goals on Saturday night on its way to a 7-2 win and a series sweep against the Nebraska Omaha Mavericks.
Accounting for four of the Sun Devils seven goals, ASU sophomore forward Johnny Walker had a night to remember as he continually wore out the left side of the ice with goals that he was able to snipe home.
Walker had four power play tallies and some hats were thrown onto the ice after his third goal of the night. As the quarterback of the power play, ASU freshman forward Demetrios Koumontzis assisted on all four of Walker's goals as he continued to drop cross-ice passes on the tape of the goal-scorer.
"I really didn't create too much on those," Walker said. "(Koumontzis) made four sweet passes and I did what I was supposed to do. There was definitely nothing special that I did, the other four guys worked just as hard and we got it done on the power play."
ASU out shot the Mavericks 53-32 in a series that was full of opportunities. A plethora of Sun Devils got into the points column including senior forward Dylan Hollman, sophomore forward Dominic Garcia, and freshman forward PJ Morrocco.
The Sun Devils led 3-0 after the first period and took a 4-0 lead before the Mavericks were able to answer back with a goal off the stick of freshman forward Taylor Ward.
Both teams produced two goals, but ASU would be able to pull away in the third with two more power play goals from Walker.
The ASU power play finished the game going a ridiculous 5-10 with the man advantage, and the special team unit seemed in sync all night with an Omaha team that spent 24 minutes in the penalty box. In contrast, the Sun Devils limited their time in the sin bin, minus one five-minute major in the third period.
"The goal tonight was to stay out of the box and our guys did it," ASU head coach Greg Powers said. "We took that five minute one at the end of the game, but this was our most discipline game to date, and when we play that way, we are going to be tough to beat. Our guys learned that tonight."
Overall, ASU controlled the pace of play and was able to take advantage of the penalties and mistakes that were given to them. The team continued to be relentless, and the outcome resulted in the first back-to-back series sweeps in program history.
Now on a four-game winning streak, the Sun Devils will look to carry their momentum back out on the road when they travel to Pennsylvania to take on No. 10 Penn State next weekend.
"We are a tight-knit group," Walker said. "When you have guys who are sacrificing, and putting their body on the line when you are up 7-2, it kind of makes you look around and everyone is pulling their own weight...Everyone is tugging on the rope, and we are headed in the right direction."