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No. 16 ASU hockey stuns No. 2 Denver in Mullett Arena in 6-5 overtime thriller

Dylan Jackson's hat trick and Tyler Gratton's game-winner cap off one of the most important wins in program history

ASU junior defenseman Ty Murchison (5) looks down the ice at Mullett Arena on Friday, Oct. 6, 2023, in Tempe. ASU won 16-0.

In an intense, back-and-forth matchup, No. 16 Sun Devil Hockey pulled off a 6-5 upset win against No. 2 Denver with an overtime goal from graduate student forward Tyler Gratton. 

After leading 1-0 for just a few minutes in the first period, Arizona State never led the rest of the matchup until the game-winner in overtime. The win highlights what ASU has been working towards as they continue to build a college hockey culture in the desert.

“To be able to get a win against (Denver), in this building, in front of that crowd, it’s going to sound cheesy, but it’s literally what the dream was.” head coach Greg Powers said.

ASU’s top line dominated Friday night after a slow start the previous weekend. On Friday, the production came from all three members of the top line and one unforgettable performance.

Senior forward Dylan Jackson tallied the season's first hat-trick for ASU with his three goals. Jackson scored two goals in the second period and completed his trick with a game-tying goal in the third period. It's his second hat trick during his time at ASU.

“It feels great; it’s nice when our line is clicking, and we are helping the team win,” Jackson said. “Sometimes you just get the puck bounces, so just keep working, and things will happen.” 

Lukas Sillinger and Dylan’s brother Ty Jackson also scored a goal for the Sun Devils' top line. Sillinger had two assists on the night. After a lack of production last weekend against Stonehill, the top line repaid the favor in a big way with their five total goals. 

“(The top line) was the best line on the ice tonight; it wasn’t even close,” Powers said. “They were just incredible, playing the right way.”

ASU's special teams showed their strengths and weaknesses against a high-powered Denver offense. ASU only allowed one goal in Denver’s five power-play attempts but gave up two short-handed goals on their own power-play. Denver junior Carter King scored both of them for his fifth and sixth goal of the year and first multi-goal game of the season. The Sun Devils scored on two of their three power play opportunities.

“Both (power play units) gave up one goal; they both happened from not working hard enough to get back,” Gratton said. “The whole idea of the power play is the five on four, but you need to play like it's five on five. You have to work just as hard, if not harder.”

The game-winning goal in overtime was Gratton’s fourth on the season after transferring from Penn State over the summer. After securing the win, he said the team will enjoy the victory and come back looking to secure the sweep. Puck drop is at 5 p.m. on Saturday night in Mullett Arena.

“We have to play again tomorrow," Gratton said. "They are a really good team, and they are going to come out swinging hard and playing better than they did tonight. We have to make sure we enjoy this, but tomorrow, we have to turn the page. It’s a new day, new game.” 

Edited by Vinny DeAngelis, Walker Smith and Shane Brennan

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