The Sun Devils capped off their weekend series against the University of Rhode Island with 3-0 win.
The team dominated in all facets of the game, and ended up outshooting the Rams 52-20.
“The best part about this weekend was that we didn’t give up a goal. Joe was solid, and our back end was unbelievably good. Defensively we were very sound,” head coach Greg Powers said. “With so much talent on the front end the goals are going to come.”
In the third period, tempers flared between both teams, and the chippiness resulted in 73 total penalty minutes.
“I think it was their frustration coming all the way over here, and just getting dominated up and down the ice,” Powers said. “Their coach was frustrated and it just trickled down to the bench. He’s a great coach, I respect the guy. But I think he was just frustrated.”
Eight minutes into the game, defenseman Ryan Clark found Hekle wide open with a saucer pass from ASU’s defensive zone. Hekle then went top shelf on URI goaltender Andrew Sherman to give ASU the 1-0 lead. URI nearly answered a minute later but the puck dinged off the post. Despite reeling off 16 shots in the first period, ASU only held the 1-0 lead going into the second period.
In the second period, the Sun Devils continued to pepper the net but it was to no avail. The team went on the power play three times in the period, but could not get past Sherman. URI’s defense was top notch, not giving up any breakaway opportunities, and clogging up shooting lanes.
Four minutes into the third period, ASU forward Kory Chisholm added a goal with a quick wrister.
With 13 minutes remaining in the game, Hekle and David Macalino both went to the box for 10 minutes misconduct penalties. Two minutes later ASU forward Stephen Collins went to the box for 10 minutes for misconduct as well. Then URI forward Sean McNeil went to the box for five minutes after hitting Faiz Khan from behind. This gave ASU a five minute power play with 9:35 left to play. A minute later another fight broke out between both teams, which saw two players from each team go to the box which made it 4-on-4 hockey.
After McAuliffe got out of the box, ASU went on the 5-on-4 advantage. Defenseman Brian Parson finally capitalized on the power play when he scored off of a rebound from a shot by forward Dan Styrna. This gave ASU a 3-0 lead with 4:41 left to play. The team then held on to the lead to clinch their 27th win of the season.
“We were doing the little things right. Blocking shots, making the simple pass, and none of us are trying to be the hero,” Parson said. “We’re getting goals from top to bottom and that’s what we need going into nationals.”
Next up the Sun Devils will host rival U of A on Friday and Saturday.