Strong third period fuels ASU hockey's 6-1 victory over RIT

The Sun Devils scored five goals in the third period to down the Tigers

Sun Devil Hockey head coach Greg Powers has mentioned over the past few weeks how ASU needs to play a full 60-minute game.

Friday against the Rochester Institute of Technology, ASU took those comments seriously, having a five-goal outburst in a 4:48 minute span to down the Tigers 6-1 in Tempe.

"I thought we played really well," Powers said. "The guys played with pace tonight, they, for the most part, played the right way." 

The scoring began with a goal from ASU's top offensive line, with junior Johnny Walker and freshman Jacob Semik feeding sophomore Jordan Sandhu to push the Sun Devils in front in the first period.

Semik and Walker both led the way in Friday's win, posting three and two points respectively in the game.

“I (feel) really comfortable," Semik said. "The coaches have been working with me a lot on jumping up and being more assertive so I just tried to play my game tonight and do more than I have been in games previous."

Graduate transfer goaltender Max Prawdzik, who made his third start of the season, held down the crease on the other end of the ice, making 24 saves in the game.

"I was excited when Coach told me I was going to play and it’s nice," Prawdzik said. "The guys did a good job, there wasn’t anything too crazy in the beginning of the game. I’m really happy with how everyone played and I think we’re ready for another good one tomorrow.” 

ASU's offensive depth was on full display, with six different skaters recording the team's six goals throughout the game and 11 players recording points in the win.

"(There were) some pretty goals there in the third, really moving the puck well, jumping into the play," Powers said. "It's nice to have that kind of distribution and spread it out."

RIT forward Kobe Walker got his team's lone goal of the game less than three minutes into the second period.

"We’ve been in this position so many times," Powers said. "...We’ve been in a position now before tonight six times tied going into the third, we hadn’t won. We knew we’re gonna do what we needed to do and go where we need to go to win these games and the guys really stepped up."

ASU had allowed nearly 50% of opponents' goals in the third period coming into the weekend.

The Sun Devils flipped the script Friday.

The onslaught kicked-off with Semik, who scored at 4:27 into the period to break the tie in ASU's favor.

34 seconds later, Walker scored.

1:36 later, freshman defenseman Jack Judson scored.

Nine seconds after that, junior forward Willie Knierim scored.

And, 3:31 after Knierim's tally, sophomore defenseman Jarrod Gourley added his name to the scoresheet to extend ASU's lead to five as the Sun Devils picked up their 14th win of the season.

“It’s all timing and getting big saves when you need it like we did tonight," Powers said. "We never questioned the backbone we have in our room or the character or any of that stuff. We know we have what it takes to do some special stuff and that was a fun team to watch play tonight.”


Reach the reporter at aklatsky@asu.edu and follow @averyklatsky on Twitter. 

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