ASU hockey's offense found a spark against No.18 Clarkson University, making for two victories at Oceanside Ice Arena on Friday and Saturday.
The Sun Devils got back into its offensive groove after a rough weekend against Denver on Friday night, beating the Golden Knights 4-3.
The Sun Devils scored four unanswered goals to seal the game in the second period after Clarkson took a 1-0 lead earlier on. ASU spread the scoring wealth to four players: redshirt senior forward Chris Grando, freshman forward Jack Jensen, sophomore forward Ryan O'Reilly and graduate student forward Colin Theisen.
The unanswered goals came against the seventh-ranked scoring defense in the country in Clarkson, which typically only allows an average of 2.11 goals per game.
"I think that the second period was a lot of fun for us. I think we have to replicate that for 60 minutes tomorrow," Grando said.
The four-goal second period also led to Clarkson's goalie, fifth round NHL draft pick sophomore Ethan Haider, getting pulled for the first time all season.
The Golden Knights added two more goals in the third, with one coming with less than a minute left after they pulled the backup goalie, but it was too little too late and the Sun Devils notched a needed and impressive victory against a ranked opponent in front of home fans.
ASU continued its momentum Saturday with a 4-1 victory against Clarkson, using another impressive offensive showing against a stout Golden Knights unit.
ASU took the lead in the first period with a goal by sophomore forward Matthew Kopperud and never looked back, netting two more in the second period and one more in the third. It took until the third period for Clarkson to find the back of the net.
Sophomore goaltender Ben Kraws made 36 saves on 37 shots to wrap up an impressive weekend. Through both games, Kraws saved 95% of the shots that flew his way.
O'Reilly also tallied a goal and an assist in both games, bringing his season total to six points, doubling what the total was before the Clarkson series.
Clarkson will take a three week break before visiting Canisius College on Jan. 3. ASU looks to continue its momentum into the holidays by visiting Colorado Springs for a weekend series with Colorado College on Dec. 17 and 18.
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Shane Brennan is a politics reporter at State Press. He also works for Cronkite News and Blaze Radio.