(Photo: Briana Peters/WCSN)
“We’re in Las Vegas.”
ASU hockey head coach Greg Powers was certainly happy to be in Sin City. This held especially true on Saturday when the Sun Devils found their luck and won the inaugural Ice Vegas Invitational championship game against Michigan Tech.
Newly-named assistant captain Brinson Pasichnuk was the golden ticket needed in taking home that trophy.
“He plays so hard. He’s our best player and he’s earned that ‘A’ and he’s going to keep it,” Powers said Friday night.
And nothing changed the following day.
Pasichnuk was already one of the teams top producers with 12 points on the season. He added five more in Las Vegas. On Saturday, he opened up the scoring within the first three minutes of the game.
Pasichnuk was named tournament MVP with the help of goaltender Joey Daccord, who was selected to the All-Tournament team.
Daccord also made his way on to the scoresheet for the second time this year, recording a secondary assist on Johnny Walker’s goal in the second period.
Early on in the first period, Daccord was able to help Walker get a breakaway, but Walker didn’t score.
“He came back to the bench and he said, ‘I’m going to get you back, I’m going to get you one,’ and sure enough in the second period, I threw it up, [Croston] gave it to him and then he went and scored so he was pointing at me from the other end so that was cool. We had a little moment there. I was a little rattled there they didn’t give it to me at first and then they made the correction so I was pretty excited about that,” he said.
“Not going to lie, I started tearing up after we won that game,” Pasichnuk said. “That’s something special, that’s something we made history on for this program so we’re definitely going to build off this and look out cause we’re coming.”
But the Sun Devil victory is more than just a new piece of hardware in the trophy case.
“Doing this in Las Vegas on a big stage and where they have an aspiring ACHA program like UNLV is tremendous for the growth of this game,” Powers said. “In our second full season to win a tournament in a market where there’s a lot of dedicated people who want to see Division-I hockey here proves it could be done.”