(Photo: Gabrielle Mercer/WCSN)
Although Cinderella was not in attendance, the Gushue still fit.
Freshman defenseman Nicholas Gushue shined in his first career game at Oceanside Ice Arena, scoring two goals and adding an assist in Arizona State’s 9-2 win over Southern New Hampshire.
“I was excited to get my first goal as a Sun Devil,” Gushue said. “Hopefully I can get many more.”
His head coach, Greg Powers, praised his play and work ethic.
“He’s a player,” Powers said. “He’s got so much upside and by the time he is done at ASU he is going to be special.”
The Sun Devils got off to a slow start in the first period. They managed plenty of shots on goal, but were unable to convert. Southern New Hampshire got the scoring started with a breakaway goal by Kyle Valliere after a giveaway by Brock Krygier.
Valliere snuck it past Sun Devil goalie David Jacobson, who was making his first start and second appearance of the season. He performed admirably last weekend against Connecticut, allowing one goal on 29 shots, earning him a start in this game.
“I probably will go back with DJ (Jacobson) tomorrow,” Powers said. “Pashovitz is tired, so I will go with DJ and have two goalies fresh for Wisconsin in a couple of weeks.”
No goals were scored for over nine minutes, but the stalemate led to a barrage of goals from ASU. The first two were scored exactly two minutes apart, and both came off the stick of freshman defenseman Nicholas Gushue. He also assisted on the next goal, which was scored by Jack Rowe. It was the second power play goal of the period for ASU in as many chances.
Arizona State concluded the onslaught with a goal 19:45 into the period by captain Liam Norris. It was the second goal of the season for the graduate student. 2013 First Team All-Tournament selection Ryan Ostertag had the assist on the goal. It was the first point of the season for the junior, who was sidelined for nearly all of last season with an upper body injury. He wound up adding a goal in the second period as well.
“It feels really good to get that first goal out of the way,” Ostertag said. “As we go I get a bit more confident week to week.”
Southern New Hampshire was unable to manufacture anything on offense, putting just four shots on goal as opposed to the 27 from the Sun Devils.
ASU continued its torrid pace into the second period, getting a goal from Charlie Zuccarini among three in the period. He was the only Sun Devil receiving his first game action of the season.
Despite the stout defense from ASU, David Jacobson remained strong in the few attempts he got to save shots from the Penmen. He saved all four shots that came his way in the period. Rival goalie David Letarte improved slightly from the first period, allowing three goals on 17 shots, as opposed to the four on 27 shots he surrendered in the opening period.
The Sun Devils were satisfied overall with their performance, but still think they can build on more in their game tomorrow.
“I think we have to take all the positives from today,” Ostertag said. “Obviously we’re scoring more, but we have to keep it going and keep our feet moving. We don’t want to get into any bad habits, and we just have to keep moving forward.”
Arizona State continued to pile onto the lead with two more third period goals and closed out a 9-2 victory. The Penmen will get a rematch with the Sun Devils tomorrow to try and earn the series split.