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ASU DII hockey splits with NAU

(Photo: Amanda Luberto/WCSN)

On Saturday, Arizona State’s DII Elite team faced off against Northern Arizona University to complete their weekend series at Oceanside Ice Arena. With a chip on their shoulder and a stronger will to win, the Sun Devils played hard and won the game 4-2.

The IceJacks started the game off strong when junior Ben Russell fired one past goaltender Kyle Dietrich. Arizona State would not let the 1-0 lead stand and started throwing around bodies, which threw NAU off their game.

Coda Engbar took advantage of ASU’s fast pace movements and the seemingly distracted opponents to put ASU on the scoreboard. The period ended with a tie score, but with the Sun Devils significantly out shooting NAU 22-7.

James Iwaszkiw with help from Parker Foltz made sure ASU stayed in the game early on in the second period by putting a huge one on net with 16:24 remaining. ASU kept up the intensity throughout and it only got higher when sophomore Jason Kuta scored against the IceJacks with an assist from Brady Morgan.

Each team committed a pair of penalties, but only the Sun Devils were able to get on the board during the second period. Forward and Arizona native Scotty Farr was an important aspect of the period, providing a helpful body and a team player while setting up assists and plays. The team seemed to feed off of Farr’s energy as they kept their intensity high.

Period three proved that both teams were nowhere close to being done with this instate rivalry. A few sloppy scraps and back-to-back goals were had.

Northern Arizona scored first with 15:09 remaining on a shot by junior Connor Sperry with an assist from earlier goal scorer Ben Russell. The Sun Devils retaliated shortly after when Justin Butler slapped one into the net on Brady Morgan’s second assist of the night.

The addition of goalie Kyle Dietrich, better stick control and constant energy made the difference between Friday’s loss and Saturday’s win. The Arizona State Sun Devil DII Elite team is now 4-1 in the 2013-2014 season. They’ll take on San Diego State University next weekend in Tempe.

You can reach Amanda Luberto on Twitter at @amanda_luberto or at

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